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Am J Pathol. 2004 May;164(5):1567-74.

Cyclophilin A as a novel biphasic mediator of endothelial activation and dysfunction.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Inflammation-mediated endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction likely contributes to the pathogenesis of several vascular diseases including atherosclerosis. We found that stimulation of human umbilical vein ECs with lipopolysaccharide induced secretion of cyclophilin (CyPA) an intracellular protein belonging to the immunophilin family. We then found that when added exogenously CyPA has direct effects on ECs in vitro. At low concentrations (10 to 100 ng/ml) CyPA increased EC proliferation, migration, invasive capacity, and tubulogenesis. Gelatin zymography indicated increased secretion of active matrix metalloproteinase-2, a mediator of cell migration and angiogenesis. At high concentrations (eg, 2 microg/ml) CyPA had opposite effects, decreasing EC migration and viability, possibly in relation to induction of Toll-like receptor-4 expression, detected by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry. In vivo CyPA expression was not detectable in the luminal ECs of normal mouse carotid arteries but was rapidly induced after systemic lipopolysaccharide injection. In an experimental mouse model of atherosclerosis, CyPA expression was detected in the ECs of neocapillaries of carotid artery lesions, supporting its association with pathological angiogenesis suggested by our in vitro results. In conclusion, we found that CyPA has a biphasic activity on ECs in vitro and is up-regulated in vivo in ECs under pathological states. Our results suggest that CyPA is a novel paracrine and autocrine modulator of EC functions in immune-mediated vascular disease.

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