Send to

Choose Destination
Cardiovasc Res. 2008 Jul 15;79(2):313-21. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvn108. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

Ethanol stimulates endothelial cell angiogenic activity via a Notch- and angiopoietin-1-dependent pathway.

Author information

Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Box SURG, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642-8410, USA.



Our aims were to determine the effect of alcohol (EtOH) on endothelial angiogenic activity and to delineate the cell signalling mechanisms involved.


Treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with EtOH (1-100 mM, 24 h) dose-dependently increased their network formation on Matrigel (an index of angiogenesis) with a maximum response (2.5- to 3-fold increase) at 25 mM. Ethanol also stimulated the proliferation (by cell count and proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression) and migration (by scratch wound assay) of HUVECs. In parallel cultures, EtOH stimulated Notch receptor (1 and 4) and Notch target gene (hrt-1, -2, and -3) mRNA and protein expression and enhanced CBF-1/RBP-Jk promoter activity. EtOH also stimulated, at the mRNA and protein level, the expression of angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and its Tie2 receptor in these cells. Knockdown of Notch 1 or 4 by siRNA or inhibition of Notch-mediated, CBF-1/RBP-Jk-regulated gene expression by the Epstein-Barr virus-encoded protein RPMS-1 inhibited both ethanol-induced Ang1/Tie2 expression in HUVECs and their network formation on Matrigel. Moreover, knockdown of Ang1 or Tie2 by siRNA inhibited ethanol-induced endothelial network formation.


These data demonstrate that ethanol, at levels consistent with moderate consumption, enhances endothelial angiogenic activity in vitro by stimulating a novel Notch/CBF-1/RBP-JK-Ang1/Tie2-dependent pathway. These actions of ethanol may be relevant to the cardiovascular effects of alcohol consumption purported by epidemiological studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center