[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATP can differentially affect the micro- and macrovascular endothelial barrier. It has been shown that it can both increase and/or decrease macromolecule permeability of microvascular endothelial cells and microvessels, in vivo. We hypothesised that the barrier stabilising effect is mediated by ATP itself via P2 receptors, while barrier-disrupting effect is mediated by its metabolite adenosine via adenosine receptors. The effects of ATP, ADP, AMP and adenosine on barrier function were studied in cultured rat coronary microvascular endothelial monolayers (RCEC) in vitro, as well as in rat mesentery vessels, and in rat hearts in vivo. ATP and ADP showed a biphasic effect on permeability of RCEC monolayers with a reduction followed by a later increase in albumin permeability. The permeability decreasing effect of ATP was enhanced by ecto-nucleotidase inhibitor ARL67156 while permeability increasing effect was enhanced by apyrase, an extracellular ecto-nucleotidase. Moreover, the permeability increasing effect was abrogated by adenosine receptor antagonists, 8-phenyltheophylline (8-PT) and DMPX. Adenosine and adenosine receptor agonists 5'-(N-ethylcarboxamido)-adenosine (NECA), CGS21680, and R-PIA enhanced albumin permeability which was antagonised by 8-PT, A(1), and A(2) but not by A(3) receptor antagonists. Likewise, immunofluorescence microscopy of VE-cadherin and actin showed that NECA induces a disturbance of intercellular junctions. Pre-incubation of ATP antagonised the effects of NECA on permeability, actin cytoskeleton and intercellular junctions. Similar effects of the applied substances were observed in rat mesentery artery by determining the vascular leakage using intravital microscopy as well as in rat hearts by assessing myocardial water contents in vivo. In conclusion, the study demonstrates that in RCEC, ATP, ADP, and its metabolite adenosine play opposing roles on endothelial barrier function.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 01/2012; 52(5):962-70. · 5.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of cAMP signalling abrogates thrombin-induced hyperpermeability. One of the mechanisms underlying this protective effect is the inactivation of endothelial contractile machinery, one of the major determinants of endothelial barrier function, mainly via the activation of myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP). To date, the mechanisms of cAMP-mediated MLCP activation are only partially understood. Here the contribution of two cAMP effectors, PKA and Epac, in the regulation of endothelial contractile machinery and barrier function was studied.
Endothelial contractile machinery and barrier function were analysed in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). The cAMP analogues 8-CPT-cAMP and 6-Bnz-cAMP were used to activate Epac and PKA, respectively, and forskolin (FSK) was used to activate adenylyl cyclase. The cells were challenged by thrombin to inhibit MLCP via the RhoA/Rock pathway. Activation of either PKA or Epac partially blocked thrombin-induced hyperpermeability. Simultaneous activation of PKA and Epac had additive effects that were comparable to that of FSK. Activation of PKA but not Epac inhibited thrombin-induced phosphorylation of MLC and the MLCP regulatory subunit MYPT1, partly via inhibition of the RhoA/Rock pathway. FSK activated the MLCP catalytic subunit PP1 via dephosphorylation and dissociation of the PP1 inhibitory protein CPI-17. FSK blunted thrombin-induced CPI-17 phosphorylation, CPI-17/PP1 complex formation, and PP1 inactivation. Down-regulation of CPI-17 attenuated thrombin-induced hyperpermeability and abolished the antagonistic effect of the PKA activator, whereas the Epac activator retained its antagonistic effect.
cAMP/PKA regulates the endothelial barrier via inhibition of the contractile machinery, mainly by the activation of MLCP via inhibition of CPI-17 and RhoA/Rock. The permeability-lowering effect of the cAMP/Epac pathway is independent of CPI-17.
Cardiovascular research 03/2010; 87(2):375-84. · 5.80 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ischemia-induced apoptosis of endothelial cells may contribute to tissue injury, organ failure, and transplantation rejection. However, little is known about survival mechanisms capable to counteract endothelial apoptosis. This study investigated the potential role of an endogenous anti-apoptotic response elicited by transient hypoxia, capable to avert ongoing apoptosis in endothelial cells. Experiments were carried out in three different types of cultured endothelial cells (human umbilical vein, pig aorta, and from rat coronary microvasculature). As a pro-apoptotic challenge endothelial cells were cultured in serum-free medium and subjected to hypoxia for 2 h. We found that transient hypoxia reduced caspase 3 activation within 1 h of hypoxia. Accordingly, the number of apoptotic cells was reduced after 24 h of reoxygenation. This was true for all three cell types analyzed. Analysis of Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways revealed that hypoxia induced a transient activation of ERK 2 but not of Akt. ERK 2 phosphorylation preceded the phosphorylation of pro-apoptotic molecule Bad at Ser112, an inhibitory phosphorylation site specific for ERK. The protective effects of hypoxia regarding Bad phosphorylation, caspase 3 activation, and apoptosis were abolished by MEK 1/2 inhibitors, PD98059 or UO126, as well as by antisense oligonucleotides directed against ERK 1/2. Furthermore, inhibition of this pathway inhibited hypoxia-induced increase in mitochondrial membrane potential. The present study demonstrates that transient hypoxia induces a novel survival mechanism that protects endothelial cells against apoptosis. This endogenous process involves MEK/ERK-mediated inhibition of the pro-apoptotic molecule Bad and caspase 3.