Author(s): Harfouche R, Hussain SN
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Abstract Angiopoietins are ligands for endothelial cell-specific Tie-2 receptors. Whereas angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) activates these receptors and promotes cell survival, migration, and sprouting, little information is available regarding how Ang-2 influences these cells. In this study, we evaluated signaling pathways and biological effects of physiological concentrations of Ang-2 in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Ang-2 at 150 and 300 ng/ml elicited a transient (reaching peak values within 15 min of exposure) increase in the phosphorylation of Tie-2 receptors, protein kinase B (Akt), ERK1/2, and p38 members of the mitogen-activated protein kinases. However, unlike Ang-1, Ang-2 significantly inhibited JNK/SAPK phosphorylation. When vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was present along with Ang-2, ERK1/2 phosphorylation was inhibited, whereas augmentation of Ang-1-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation was triggered by VEGF. Ang-2 treatment had no effect on cell migration and in vitro wound healing but significantly attenuated serum deprivation-induced apoptosis and promoted survival. These effects were completely reversed by phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase and ERK1/2 inhibitors but were augmented by an inhibitor of the p38 pathway. These results suggest that Ang-2 promotes endothelial cell survival through the ERK1/2 and PI3-kinase pathways and that this angiopoietin is not a strong promoter of endothelial cell migration. We also conclude that the nature of interactions in terms of ERK1/2 activation between Ang-2 and VEGF is different from that of Ang-1 and VEGF.
This article was published in Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Hypertension: Open Access