Regulation of endothelin-1 by angiopoietin-1: implications for inflammation.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2006 Jun;231(6):985-91

Terrence Donnelly Research Laboratories, Division of Cardiology, St. Michae's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is increasingly recognized as a proinflammatory mediator in various diseases, such as atherosclerosis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), a ligand of the endothelial receptor Tie2, inhibits endothelial apoptosis, reduces vascular leakage, and suppresses the induction of inflammatory markers, indicating that it has diverse vasoprotective, anti-inflammatory actions. Thus, we examined the effects of Ang-1 on ET-1 production in vitro and in vivo and investigated cell-based gene transfer of Ang-1 in a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ARDS. Cultured human endothelial cells were treated with recombinant Ang-1 with or without tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) (100 U/ml). ET-1 release into the culture medium after 24 hrs was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Levels of preproendothelin-1 (ppET-1) mRNA were measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Fisher344 rats were subjected to cell-based gene transfer to the lung circulation by injecting syngeneic fibroblasts transfected with Ang-1 cDNA or a null plasmid vector. After 24 hrs, LPS (100 microg/kg body wt) was instilled intratracheally to induce pulmonary inflammation. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed 6 hrs later, and lungs were harvested for histologic and molecular analyses. ET-1 release from cultured endothelial cells was dose-dependently reduced by Ang-1, which also prevented induction of ET-1 release by TNF-alpha (P < 0.05). RNA expression of ppET-1 was similarly reduced. In LPS-challenged lungs, ppET-1 RNA was induced 3.4-fold, and ET-1 protein in lavage fluid was increased 5.6-fold (P < 0.05). Ang-1 gene transfer attenuated the LPS-induced increases in ppET-1 RNA and lavage ET-1 protein by 34% and 33%, respectively (P < 0.05). The downregulation of ET-1 correlated with the amelioration of pulmonary inflammation, as indicated by reductions in leukocyte infiltration (by 43%) and intra-alveolar septal thickening (by 40%). These results show that ET-1 transcript and protein levels are downregulated by Ang-1 in both in vitro and in vivo systems and that cell-based Ang-1 gene transfer markedly ameliorated inflammation in vivo in an experimental model of ARDS. Thus, cell-based gene transfer of Ang-1 may provide a novel treatment strategy for ARDS by attenuating vascular inflammation via suppression of ET-1.

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June 2006
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