Elevated Plasma Angiopoietin-2 Levels and Primary Graft Dysfunction after Lung Transplantation

Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Division, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2012; 7(12):e51932. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051932
Source: PubMed


Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is a significant contributor to early morbidity and mortality after lung transplantation. Increased vascular permeability in the allograft has been identified as a possible mechanism leading to PGD. Angiopoietin-2 serves as a partial antagonist to the Tie-2 receptor and induces increased endothelial permeability. We hypothesized that elevated Ang2 levels would be associated with development of PGD.
We performed a case-control study, nested within the multi-center Lung Transplant Outcomes Group cohort. Plasma angiopoietin-2 levels were measured pre-transplant and 6 and 24 hours post-reperfusion. The primary outcome was development of grade 3 PGD in the first 72 hours. The association of angiopoietin-2 plasma levels and PGD was evaluated using generalized estimating equations (GEE).
There were 40 PGD subjects and 79 non-PGD subjects included for analysis. Twenty-four PGD subjects (40%) and 47 non-PGD subjects (59%) received a transplant for the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Among all subjects, GEE modeling identified a significant change in angiopoietin-2 level over time in cases compared to controls (p = 0.03). The association between change in angiopoietin-2 level over the perioperative time period was most significant in patients with a pre-operative diagnosis of IPF (p = 0.02); there was no statistically significant correlation between angiopoietin-2 plasma levels and the development of PGD in the subset of patients transplanted for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (p = 0.9).
Angiopoietin-2 levels were significantly associated with the development of PGD after lung transplantation. Further studies examining the regulation of endothelial cell permeability in the pathogenesis of PGD are indicated.

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Available from: Edward Cantu, Jan 06, 2015
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    • "It has been known that Ang1 and Ang2 bind to their common receptor Tie2, antagonize each other and control blood vessel maturation and stabilization [52]; Ang1 stabilizes blood vessel formation [3,52–54], whereas Ang2 destabilizes the blood vessel structure and increases vascular permeability in lung injury [12,13,55–57], tumors [39–41] and lung fibrosis [58,59]. Our findings suggest that downregulation of Twist1 expression inhibits the Ang1-induced vascular stabilization in physiological conditions, whereas it prevents the Ang2-induced vascular destabilization in pathological conditions (i.e., endotoxin-induced lung injury) by decreasing the expression of its receptor Tie2. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tight regulation of vascular permeability is necessary for normal development and deregulated vascular barrier function contributes to the pathogenesis of various diseases, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, cancer and inflammation. The angiopoietin (Ang)-Tie2 pathway is known to control vascular permeability. However, the mechanism by which the expression of Tie2 is regulated to control vascular permeability has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that transcription factor Twist1 modulates pulmonary vascular leakage by altering the expression of Tie2 in a context-dependent way. Twist1 knockdown in cultured human lung microvascular endothelial cells decreases Tie2 expression and phosphorylation and increases RhoA activity, which disrupts cell-cell junctional integrity and increases vascular permeability in vitro. In physiological conditions, where Ang1 is dominant, pulmonary vascular permeability is elevated in the Tie2-specific Twist1 knockout mice. However, depletion of Twist1 and resultant suppression of Tie2 expression prevent increase in vascular permeability in an endotoxin-induced lung injury model, where the balance of Angs shifts toward Ang2. These results suggest that Twist1-Tie2-Angs signaling is important for controlling vascular permeability and modulation of this mechanism may lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches for pulmonary edema and other diseases caused by abnormal vascular permeability.
    PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e73407. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073407 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic changes in microvascular endothelial structure and function are pivotal in the acute inflammatory response, the body's rapid, coordinated effort to localize, sequester, and eliminate microbial invaders at their portal of entry. To achieve this, the endothelium becomes leaky and inflamed, providing innate immune cells and humoral effector molecules access to the site of infection. During sepsis this locally adaptive response becomes manifest throughout the body, leading to dangerous host consequences. Increased leakiness in the pulmonary circulation contributes to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a complication of sepsis associated with 40% mortality. Understanding the molecular governance of vascular leak and inflammation has major diagnostic, prognostic, and potentially therapeutic implications for this common and pernicious disease. This review summarizes results from cell-based experiments, animal models, and observational human studies; together, these studies suggest that an endothelial receptor called Tie2 and its ligands, called angiopoietins, form a signaling axis key to the vascular dyshomeostasis that underlies sepsis.
    Virulence 05/2013; 4(6). DOI:10.4161/viru.24906 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is a syndrome encompassing a spectrum of mild to severe lung injury that occurs within the first 72 hours after lung transplantation. PGD is characterized by pulmonary edema with diffuse alveolar damage that manifests clinically as progressive hypoxemia with radiographic pulmonary infiltrates. In recent years, new knowledge has been generated on risks and mechanisms of PGD. Following ischemia and reperfusion, inflammatory and immunological injury-repair responses appear to be key controlling mechanisms. In addition, PGD has a significant impact on short- and long-term outcomes; therefore, the choice of donor organ is impacted by this potential adverse consequence. Improved methods of reducing PGD risk and efforts to safely expand the pool are being developed. Ex vivo lung perfusion is a strategy that may improve risk assessment and become a promising platform to implement treatment interventions to prevent PGD. This review details recent updates in the epidemiology, pathophysiology, molecular and genetic biomarkers, and state-of-the-art technical developments affecting PGD.
    Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 06/2013; 34(3):305-319. DOI:10.1055/s-0033-1348474 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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