Von Hippel–Lindau (Vhl) protein inhibits hypoxia-inducible factor (Hif), yet its deletion in murine retina does not cause the extensive angiogenesis expected with Hif induction. The mechanism is unclear. Here we show that retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (Rb1) constrains expression of Hif target genes in the Vhl-/- retina. Deleting Rb1 induced extensive retinal neovascularization and autophagic ablation of photoreceptors in the Vhl-/- retina. RNA sequencing, ChIP and reporter assays showed Rb1 recruitment to and repression of certain Hif target genes. Activating Rb1 by deleting cyclin D1 induced a partial defect in the retinal superficial vascular plexus (SVP). Unexpectedly, removing Vhl suppressed retinoblastoma formation in murine Rb1/Rbl1-deficient retina, but generated subretinal vascular growths resembling retinal angiomatous proliferation (RAP), and retinal capillary hemangioblastoma (RCH). Most stromal cells in the RAP/RCH-like lesions were Sox9+, suggesting a Müller glia origin, and expressed Lgals3, a marker of human brain hemangioblastoma. Thus, the Rb family limit Hif target gene expression in the Vhl-/- retina, and removing this inhibitory signal generates new models for RAP and RCH.
Ran Wei, Xiang Ren, Hongyu Kong, Zhongping Lv, Yongjiang Chen, Yunjing Tang, Yujiao Wang, Lirong Xiao, Sabiha Hacibekiroglu, Chen Liang, Andras Nagy, Rod Bremner, Danian Chen
Excessive vascular remodeling is characteristic of hemophilic arthropathy (HA) and may contribute to joint bleeding and the progression of HA. Mechanisms for pathological vascular remodeling after hemophilic joint bleeding are unknown. In hemophilia, activation of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) is impaired, which contributes to joint bleeding and may also underlie the aberrant vascular remodeling. Here, hemophilia A (FVIII-deficient) mice or TAFI-deficient mice with transient (antibody-induced) hemophilia A were used to determine the role of FVIII and TAFI in vascular remodeling after joint bleeding. Excessive vascular remodeling and vessel enlargement persisted in FVIII-deficient and TAFI-deficient but not in transient hemophilia WT mice after similar joint bleeding. TAFI-overexpression in FVIII-deficient mice prevented abnormal vessel enlargement and vascular leakage. Age-related vascular changes were observed with FVIII or TAFI deficiency, and correlated positively with bleeding severity after injury, supporting increased vascularity as a major contributor to joint bleeding. Antibody-mediated inhibition of uPA also prevented abnormal vascular remodeling, suggesting that TAFI’s protective effects include inhibition of uPA-mediated plasminogen activation. In conclusion, the functional TAFI deficiency in hemophilia drives maladaptive vascular remodeling in the joints after bleeding. These new mechanistic insights allow targeted development of new strategies to normalize vascularity and control re-bleeding in HA.
Tine Wyseure, Tingyi Yang, Jenny Y. Zhou, Esther J. Cooke, Bettina Wanko, Merissa Olmer, Ruchi Agashe, Yosuke Morodomi, Niels Behrendt, Martin Lotz, John Morser, Annette von Drygalski, Laurent O. Mosnier
We determined which metabolic pathways are activated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1–mediated (HIF-1–mediated) protection against oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) in newborn mice, the experimental correlate to retinopathy of prematurity, a leading cause of infant blindness. HIF-1 coordinates the change from oxidative to glycolytic metabolism and mediates flux through serine and 1-carbon metabolism (1CM) in hypoxic and cancer cells. We used untargeted metabolite profiling in vivo to demonstrate that hypoxia mimesis activates serine/1CM. Both [13C6] glucose labeling of metabolites in ex vivo retinal explants as well as in vivo [13C3] serine labeling of metabolites followed in liver lysates strongly suggest that retinal serine is primarily derived from hepatic glycolytic carbon and not from retinal glycolytic carbon in newborn pups. In HIF-1α2lox/2lox albumin-Cre–knockout mice, reduced or near-0 levels of serine/glycine further demonstrate the hepatic origin of retinal serine. Furthermore, inhibition of 1CM by methotrexate blocked HIF-mediated protection against OIR. This demonstrated that 1CM participates in protection induced by HIF-1 stabilization. The urea cycle also dominated pathway enrichment analyses of plasma samples. The dependence of retinal serine on hepatic HIF-1 and the upregulation of the urea cycle emphasize the importance of the liver to remote protection of the retina.
Charandeep Singh, George Hoppe, Vincent Tran, Leah McCollum, Youstina Bolok, Weilin Song, Amit Sharma, Henri Brunengraber, Jonathan E. Sears
While anti-VEGF drugs are commonly used to inhibit pathological retinal and choroidal neovascularization, not all patients respond in an optimal manner. Mechanisms underpinning resistance to anti-VEGF therapy include the upregulation of other pro-angiogenic factors. Therefore, therapeutic strategies that simultaneously target multiple growth factor signalling pathways would have significant value. Here, we show that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CAMKII) mediates the angiogenic actions of a range of growth factors in human retinal endothelial cells and that this kinase acts as a key nodal point for the activation of several signal transduction cascades that are known to play a critical role in growth factor-induced angiogenesis. We also demonstrate that endothelial CAMKIIγ and δ isoforms differentially regulate the angiogenic effects of different growth factors and that genetic deletion of these isoforms suppresses pathological retinal and choroidal neovascularisation in vivo. Our studies suggest that CAMKII could provide a novel and efficacious target to inhibit multiple angiogenic signalling pathways for the treatment of vasoproliferative diseases of the eye. CAMKIIγ represents a particularly promising target, as deletion of this isoform inhibited pathological neovascularisation, whilst enhancing reparative angiogenesis in the ischemic retina.
Sadaf Ashraf, Samuel Bell, Caitriona O'Leary, Paul Canning, Ileana Micu, Jose A. Fernandez, Michael O'Hare, Peter Barabas, Hannah McCauley, Derek P. Brazil, Alan W. Stitt, J. Graham McGeown, Tim M. Curtis
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is characterized by abnormal retinal neovascularization in response to vessel loss. Platelets regulate angiogenesis and may influence ROP progression. In preterm infants, we assessed ROP and correlated with longitudinal postnatal platelet counts (n = 202). Any episode of thrombocytopenia (<100 × 109/l) at ≥30 weeks postmenstrual age (at onset of ROP) was independently associated with severe ROP, requiring treatment. Infants with severe ROP also had a lower weekly median platelet count compared with infants with less severe ROP. In a mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model of ROP, platelet counts were lower at P17 (peak neovascularization) versus controls. Platelet transfusions at P15 and P16 suppressed neovascularization, and platelet depletion increased neovascularization. Platelet transfusion decreased retinal of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) mRNA and protein expression; platelet depletion increased retinal VEGFA mRNA and protein expression. Resting platelets with intact granules reduced neovascularization, while thrombin-activated degranulated platelets did not. These data suggest that platelet releasate has a local antiangiogenic effect on endothelial cells to exert a downstream suppression of VEGFA in neural retina. Low platelet counts during the neovascularization phase in ROP is significantly associated with the development of severe ROP in preterm infants. In a murine model of retinopathy, platelet transfusion during the period of neovascularization suppressed retinopathy.
Bertan Cakir, Raffael Liegl, Gunnel Hellgren, Pia Lundgren, Ye Sun, Susanna Klevebro, Chatarina Löfqvist, Clara Mannheimer, Steve Cho, Alexander Poblete, Rubi Duran, Boubou Hallberg, Jorge Canas, Viola Lorenz, Zhi-Jian Liu, Martha C. Sola-Visner, Lois E.H. Smith, Ann Hellström
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a progressive chronic disease of the central retina, is associated with aging and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Here, we demonstrate that leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor 1 (BLT1) promotes laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in a mouse model for wet-type AMD. CNV was significantly less in BLT1-deficient (BLT1-KO) mice compared with BLT1-WT controls. Expression of several proangiogenic and profibrotic factors was lower in BLT1-KO eyes than in BLT1-WT eyes. LTB4 production in the eyes was substantially increased in the early phase after laser injury. BLT1 was highly expressed in M2 macrophages in vitro and in vivo, and ocular BLT1+ M2 macrophages were increased in the aged eyes after laser injury. Furthermore, M2 macrophages were rapidly attracted by LTB4 and subsequently produced VEGF-A– through BLT1-mediated signaling. Consequently, intravitreal injection of M2 macrophages augmented CNV formation, which was attenuated by BLT1 deficiency. Thus, laser-induced injury to the retina triggered LTB4 production and attracted M2 macrophages via BLT1, leading to development of CNV. A selective BLT1 antagonist (CP105696) and 3 LTB4 inhibitors (zileuton, MK-886, and bestatin) reduced CNV in a dose-dependent manner. CP105696 also inhibited the accumulation of BLT1+ M2 macrophages in the laser-injured eyes of aged mice. Together, these results indicate that the LTB4-BLT1 axis is a potentially novel therapeutic target for CNV of wet-type AMD.
Fumiyuki Sasaki, Tomoaki Koga, Mai Ohba, Kazuko Saeki, Toshiaki Okuno, Keijiro Ishikawa, Takahito Nakama, Shintaro Nakao, Shigeo Yoshida, Tatsuro Ishibashi, Hamid Ahmadieh, Mozhgan Rezaei Kanavi, Ali Hafezi-Moghadam, Josef M. Penninger, Koh-Hei Sonoda, Takehiko Yokomizo
Intraocular injections of VEGF-neutralizing proteins provide tremendous benefits in patients with choroidal neovascularization (NV) due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but during treatment some patients develop retinal atrophy. Suggesting that VEGF is a survival factor for retinal neurons, a clinical trial group attributed retinal atrophy to VEGF suppression and cautioned against frequent anti-VEGF injections. This recommendation may contribute to poor outcomes in clinical practice from insufficient treatment. Patients with type 3 choroidal NV have particularly high risk of retinal atrophy, an unexplained observation. Herein we show in mouse models that VEGF signaling does not contribute to photoreceptor survival and functioning: (a) neutralization of VEGFR2 strongly suppresses choroidal NV without compromising photoreceptor function or survival; (b) VEGF does not slow loss of photoreceptor function or death in mice with inherited retinal degeneration, and there is no exacerbation by VEGF suppression; and (c) mice with type 3 choroidal NV develop retinal atrophy due to oxidative damage with no contribution from VEGF suppression. Intraocular injections of VEGF-neutralizing proteins, a highly effective treatment in patients with neovascular AMD, should not be withheld or reduced due to concern that they may contribute to long-term visual loss from retinal atrophy.
Da Long, Yogita Kanan, Jikui Shen, Sean F. Hackett, Yuanyuan Liu, Zibran Hafiz, Mahmood Khan, Lili Lu, Peter A. Campochiaro
Angiogenesis, new blood vessel formation from preexisting vessels, is critical for solid tumor growth. As such, there have been efforts to inhibit angiogenesis as a means to obstruct tumor growth. However, antiangiogenic therapy faces major challenges to the selective targeting of tumor-associated-vessels, as current antiangiogenic targets also disrupt steady-state vessels. Here, we demonstrate that the developmentally critical transcription factor Etv2 is selectively upregulated in both human and mouse tumor-associated endothelial cells (TAECs) and is required for tumor angiogenesis. Two-photon imaging revealed that Etv2-deficient tumor-associated vasculature remained similar to that of steady-state vessels. Etv2-deficient TAECs displayed decreased Flk1 (also known as Vegfr2) expression, FLK1 activation, and proliferation. Endothelial tube formation, proliferation, and sprouting response to VEGF, but not to FGF2, was reduced in Etv2-deficient ECs. ROS activated Etv2 expression in ECs, and ROS blockade inhibited Etv2 expression in TAECs in vivo. Systemic administration of Etv2 siRNA nanoparticles potently inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis without cardiovascular side effects. These studies highlight a link among vascular oxidative stress, Etv2 expression, and VEGF response that is critical for tumor angiogenesis. Targeting the ETV2 pathway might offer a unique opportunity for more selective antiangiogenic therapies.
Ashraf Ul Kabir, Tae-Jin Lee, Hua Pan, Jeffrey C. Berry, Karen Krchma, Jun Wu, Fang Liu, Hee-Kyoung Kang, Kristina Hinman, Lihua Yang, Samantha Hamilton, Qingyu Zhou, Deborah J. Veis, Robert P. Mecham, Samuel A. Wickline, Mark J. Miller, Kyunghee Choi
Myocardial infarctions (MIs) cause the loss of myocytes due to lack of sufficient oxygenation and latent revascularization. Although the administration of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors reduces the size of infarctions and improves cardiac physiology in small-animal models of MI injury, the cellular targets of the HDACs, which the drugs inhibit, are largely unspecified. Here, we show that WNT-inducible secreted protein-1 (Wisp-1), a matricellular protein that promotes angiogenesis in cancers as well as cell survival in isolated cardiac myocytes and neurons, is a target of HDACs. Further, Wisp-1 transcription is regulated by HDACs and can be modified by the HDAC inhibitor, suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA/vorinostat), after MI injury. We observe that, at 7 days after MI, Wisp-1 is elevated 3-fold greater in the border zone of infarction in mice that experience an MI injury and are injected daily with SAHA, relative to MI alone. Additionally, human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) produce WISP-1 and are responsive to autocrine WISP-1–mediated signaling, which functionally promotes their proangiogenic behavior. Altering endogenous expression of WISP-1 in HCAECs directly impacts their network density in vitro. Therapeutic interventions after a heart attack define the extent of infarct injury, cell survival, and overall prognosis. Our studies shown here identify a potentially novel cardiac angiokine, Wisp-1, that may contribute to beneficial post-MI treatment modalities.
Lillianne H. Wright, Daniel J. Herr, Symone S. Brown, Harinath Kasiganesan, Donald R. Menick
Intestinal epithelial cells condition tolerogenic properties in DCs. Aqueous-deficient dry eye is associated with goblet cell (GC) loss and increased IFN-γ expression in the conjunctiva. We hypothesized that loss of GCs reduces tolerance-inducing properties of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in the conjunctiva and draining nodes. Mice lacking the SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor (Spdef) that is required for GC differentiation had an increased frequency of macrophages in the conjunctiva and CD11b+CD11c+ DCs in the conjunctiva and draining nodes, and these cells had greater IL-12 expression than WT mice. Conditioned media from cultured WT conjunctival GCs suppressed LPS-induced IL-12 production by conjunctival APCs. OVA antigen–specific OTII CD4+ T cells primed by Spdef-KO draining lymph node APCs showed greater proliferation, lower frequency of Foxp3+, increased frequency of IFN-γ+ and IL-17+ cells, and greater IFN-γ production than those primed by WT APCs. The immune tolerance to OVA antigen topically applied to the conjunctiva measured by cutaneous delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction, OVA-specific T cell proliferation, Foxp3 induction, and IFN-γ production observed in WT mice was lost in the Spdef-KO mice. We concluded that conjunctival GCs condition tolerogenic properties in APCs that suppress IL-12 production and Th1 polarization.
Byung Yi Ko, Yangyan Xiao, Flavia L. Barbosa, Cintia S. de Paiva, Stephen C. Pflugfelder
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