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J Immunol. 2000 Sep 1;165(5):2818-23.

The activity of soluble VCAM-1 in angiogenesis stimulated by IL-4 and IL-13.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan.


IL-13 is a multifunctional lymphokine sharing a number of biological properties with IL-4. We previously observed that IL-4 shows angiogenic activities in vitro as well as in vivo. In this study we examined the effect of IL-13 on angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo and also the underlying mechanisms. Human IL-13 significantly stimulated the formation of tube-like structures in collagen gels by human microvascular endothelial cells and bovine aortic endothelial cells by about 3-fold over the controls in the absence of the cytokines. Administration of murine IL-13 led to neovascularization when implanted in the rat cornea. Coadministration of neutralizing mAb to the IL-4R inhibited both tubular morphogenesis in vitro and activation of STAT6 induced by IL-4 or IL-13. Both IL-4 and IL-13 markedly increased mRNA levels of VCAM-1 in vascular endothelial cells, and the production of the soluble form of VCAM-1 was also stimulated in response to IL-4 or IL-13. Administration of anti-VCAM-1 Ab in vitro blocked tubular morphogenesis induced by IL-4 and IL-13. Angiogenesis induced in vivo in rat cornea by IL-4 and IL-13 was also inhibited by Ab against the rat alpha4 integrin subunit. These findings suggest that angiogenesis dependent on IL-4 and IL-13 is mainly mediated through a soluble VCAM-1/alpha4 integrin pathway.

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