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Exp Cell Res. 1999 May 1;248(2):498-508.

Induction of apoptotic cell death in vascular endothelial cells cultured in three-dimensional collagen lattice.

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Department of Geriatrics, Nagoya University School of Medicine, 65 Tsuruma-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya, 466-8550, Japan.


Endothelial cells derived from fetal bovine aorta (BAECs) undergo apoptosis in three-dimensional (3-D) type I collagen lattice in the absence of specific angiogenic factor. In the presence of angiogenic factor, BAECs survive and form a capillary-like tube structure in 3-D culture. In the present study we elucidate the mechanisms of BAECs apoptosis or survival and tube formation in 3-D culture. When BAECs embedded in collagen lattice were cultured with angiogenic factor (fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) or 4beta-phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)) in the presence of PD98059, a specific inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, BAECs did not form tube structures and underwent apoptosis in collagen lattice. Function-blocking antibody against alphavbeta3 integrin also inhibited tube formation and induced apoptosis in 3-D culture in the presence of angiogenic factors. Exposure of BAECs to FGF-2 and PMA had no effect on the alphavbeta3 integrin expression but induced the activation of alphavbeta3 integrin. PD98059 attenuated alphavbeta3 integrin activation in response to angiogenic factor. KB-R8301, a hydroxamic acid-based matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor, prevented apoptotic cell death in the absence of angiogenic factor in 3-D culture and enhanced capillary-like tube formation in the presence of angiogenic factor, which was not inhibited by the anti-alphavbeta3 integrin antibody. The results suggest that angiogenic factor-induced alphavbeta3 integrin activation through the MEK-ERK pathway regulates the BAEC fate between apoptosis and angiogenesis in collagen lattice. MMP derived from BAECs seems to play a key role in the release of cryptic ligands for alphavbeta3 integrin from intact collagen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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