Apelin signaling modulates splanchnic angiogenesis and portosystemic collateral vessel formation in rats with portal hypertension.
ABSTRACT Angiogenesis is a pathological hallmark of portal hypertension. Although VEGF is considered to be the most important proangiogenic factor in neoangiogenesis, this process requires the coordinated action of a variety of factors. Identification of novel molecules involved in angiogenesis is highly relevant, since they may represent potential new targets to suppress pathological neovascularization in angiogenesis-related diseases like portal hypertension. The apelin/APJ signaling pathway plays a crucial role in angiogenesis. Therefore, we determined whether the apelin system modulates angiogenesis-driven processes in portal hypertension.
Partial portal vein-ligated rats were treated with the APJ antagonist F13A for seven days. Splanchnic neovascularization and expression of angiogenesis mediators (Western blotting) was determined. Portosystemic collateral formation (microspheres), and hemodynamic parameters (flowmetry) were also assessed.
Apelin and its receptor APJ were overexpressed in the splanchnic vasculature of portal hypertensive rats. F13A effectively decreased, by 52%, splanchnic neovascularization and expression of proangiogenic factors VEGF, PDGF and angiopoietin-2 in portal hypertensive rats. F13A also reduced, by 35%, the formation of portosystemic collateral vessels.
This study provides the first experimental evidence showing that the apelin/APJ system contributes to portosystemic collateralization and splanchnic neovascularization in portal hypertensive rats, presenting a potential novel therapeutic target for portal hypertension.
Article: Targeting the ACE2 and Apelin Pathways Are Novel Therapies for Heart Failure: Opportunities and Challenges.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)/Ang II/Ang 1-7 and the apelin/APJ are two important peptide systems which exert diverse effects on the cardiovascular system. ACE2 is a key negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) where it metabolizes angiotensin (Ang) II into Ang 1-7, an endogenous antagonist of Ang II. Both the prolonged activation of RAS and the loss of ACE2 can be detrimental as they lead to functional deterioration of the heart and progression of cardiac, renal, and vascular diseases. Recombinant human ACE2 in an animal model of ACE2 knockout mice lowers Ang II. These interactions neutralize the pressor and subpressor pathologic effects of Ang II by producing Ang 1-7 levels in vivo, that might be cardiovascular protective. ACE2 hydrolyzes apelin to Ang II and, therefore, is responsible for the degradation of both peptides. Apelin has emerged as a promising peptide biomarker of heart failure. The serum level of apelin in cardiovascular diseases tends to be decreased. Apelin is recognized as an imperative controller of systemic blood pressure and myocardium contractility. Dysregulation of the apelin/APJ system may be involved in the predisposition to cardiovascular diseases, and enhancing apelin action may have important therapeutic effects.Cardiology research and practice. 01/2012; 2012:823193.