In healing wounds, rising levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induce a period of robust angiogenesis. The levels of pro-angiogenic factors in the wound begin to decline just before a period of vascular regression, suggesting that these mediators are necessary to sustain vessel density. The purpose of this study was to determine if the maintenance of pro-angiogenic stimuli in the wound would prevent physiological vessel regression.
A standard subcutaneous sponge wound model was modified by the addition of a mini-osmotic pump, allowing manipulation of the wound milieu by the addition of exogenous growth factors. After initial characterization of this model, exogenous VEGF (10 microg/mL), FGF (10 microg/mL), PDGF (10 microg/mL), or VEGF (10 microg/mL) plus FGF (10 microg/mL) were delivered to wounds and blood vessel density analyzed by immunohistochemistry.
VEGF administration resulted in a transient increase in wound vessel density (P < 0.05). None of the pro-angiogenic growth factors (VEGF, FGF, PDGF, VEGF/FGF) were able to prevent vascular regression (P = NS).
These findings suggest that the anti-angiogenic signals that mediate physiological vascular regression in wounds are strongly dominant over pro-angiogenic stimuli during the later phases of wound healing. Clinical manipulation of anti-angiogenic signals in addition to the currently used pro-angiogenic targets may be needed to achieve therapeutic modulation of blood vessel density.
"In our previous work, we noted that coculture of NPCs with BECs leds to greater expression of VEGF  and we see that here which may play a role in the early protection of the BECs. As a part of this work, we have also looked at the concentration of secreted PDGF-BB, Ang1, and Ang2, factors that are known to be important in vessel stabilization –. We did not see significant differences in the concentration of these secreted factors between the groups, but these are only a few of a large number of factors which can now be screened and tested in this system. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vessels are a critical and necessary component of most tissues, and there has been substantial research investigating vessel formation and stabilization. Several groups have investigated coculturing endothelial cells with a second cell type to promote formation and stabilization of vessels. Some have noted that long-term vessels derived from implanted cocultures are often chimeric consisting of both host and donor cells. The questions arise as to whether the coculture cell might impact the chimeric nature of the microvessels and can modulate the density of donor cells over time. If long-term engineered microvessels are primarily of host origin, any impairment of the host's angiogenic ability has significant implications for the long-term success of the implant. If one can modulate the host versus donor response, one may be able to overcome a host's angiogenic impairment. Furthermore, if one can modulate the donor contribution, one may be able to engineer microvascular networks to deliver molecules a patient lacks systemically for long times. To investigate the impact of the cocultured cell on the host versus donor contributions of endothelial cells in engineered microvascular networks, we varied the ratio of the neural progenitors to endothelial cells in subcutaneously implanted poly(ethylene glycol)/poly-L-lysine hydrogels. We found that the coculture of neural progenitors with endothelial cells led to the formation of chimeric host-donor vessels, and the ratio of neural progenitors has a significant impact on the long term residence of donor endothelial cells in engineered microvascular networks in vivo even though the neural progenitors are only present transiently in the system. We attribute this to the short term paracrine signaling between the two cell types. This suggests that one can modulate the host versus donor contributions using short-term paracrine signaling which has broad implications for the application of engineered microvascular networks and cellular therapy more broadly.
PLoS ONE 12/2012; 7(12):e53208. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053208 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Changes in the vascular bed of the ocular surface are readily discernible at the slit lamp, and in all subjects restoration of limbal perfusion and a general reduction in ocular inflammation appeared to precede full ocular epithelial recovery. It has previously been reported that exogenous addition of proangiogenic growth factors (VEGF, FGF, PDGF) is not able to prevent vascular regression in wounds (Gosain et al. 2006). These authors concluded that ''anti-angiogenic signals that mediate vessel regression in wounds are strongly dominant over pro-angiogenic factors'' during the later stages of wound healing. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transiently blocking the expression of the gap junction protein connexin43 using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides or blocking hemichannels with connexin mimetic peptides has been shown to significantly improve outcomes in a range of acute wound models. Less is known about their likely effects in nonhealing wounds. In the eye, prolonged inflammation and lack of epithelial recovery in nonhealing corneal epithelial wounds may lead to corneal opacity, blindness or enucleation. We report here the first human applications of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides that transiently block translation of connexin43 in a prospective study of five eyes with severe ocular surface burns (persistent epithelial defects), which were unresponsive to established therapy for 7 days to 8 weeks prior to treatment. Connexin43-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotide was delivered in cold, thermoreversible Poloxamer407 gel under either an amniotic membrane graft or a bandage contact lens. The connexin43-specific antisense application reduced inflammation within 1-2 days, and in all five eyes complete and stable corneal reepithelialization was obtained. Recovery of the vascular bed and limbal reperfusion appeared to precede corneal epithelial recovery. We conclude that connexin modulation provides a number of benefits for nonhealing ocular burn wounds, one of which is to promote vascular recovery.
"Two animals (n = 1 from the implant plus ECs group and n = 1 from the implant plus NPCs:ECs group) were sacrificed at three weeks post injury to investigate changes in vessel density at an intermediate time point. Vessel regression has been seen in a number of models of angiogenesis (Benjamin, 2000; Gosain et al., 2006) as well as after SCI (Loy et al., 2002). Biotinylated tomato lectin was not injected in animals sacrificed at 3 weeks, so immunostaining for PECAM-1 and laminin-1 was used to characterize the blood vessels present at 3 weeks (Fig. 4). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis precedes recovery following spinal cord injury and its extent correlates with neural regeneration, suggesting that angiogenesis may play a role in repair. An important precondition for studying the role of angiogenesis is the ability to induce it in a controlled manner. Previously, we showed that a coculture of endothelial cells (ECs) and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) promoted the formation of stable tubes in vitro and stable, functional vascular networks in vivo in a subcutaneous model. We sought to test whether a similar coculture would lead to the formation of stable functional vessels in the spinal cord following injury. We created microvascular networks in a biodegradable two-component implant system and tested the ability of the coculture or controls (lesion control, implant alone, implant + ECs or implant + NPCs) to promote angiogenesis in a rat hemisection model of spinal cord injury. The coculture implant led to a fourfold increase in functional vessels compared with the lesion control, implant alone or implant + NPCs groups and a twofold increase in functional vessels over the implant + ECs group. Furthermore, half of the vessels in the coculture implant exhibited positive staining for the endothelial barrier antigen, a marker for the formation of the blood-spinal cord barrier. No other groups have shown positive staining for the blood-spinal cord barrier in the injury epicenter. This work provides a novel method to induce angiogenesis following spinal cord injury and a foundation for studying its role in repair.
European Journal of Neuroscience 02/2009; 29(1):132-45. DOI:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2008.06567.x · 3.18 Impact Factor
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