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PLoS One. 2011 Apr 19;6(4):e18481. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018481.

Influence of Dll4 via HIF-1α-VEGF signaling on the angiogenesis of choroidal neovascularization under hypoxic conditions.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is the common pathological basis of irreversible visual impairment encountered in a variety of chorioretinal diseases; the pathogenesis of its development is complicated and still imperfectly understood. Recent studies indicated that delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4), one of the Notch family ligands might participate in the HIF-1α-VEGF pathway to regulate CNV angiogenesis. But little is known about the influence and potential mechanism of Dll4/Notch signals on CNV angiogenesis. Real-time RT-PCR, Western blotting were used to analyze the expression alteration of Dll4, VEGF and HIF-1α in hypoxic RF/6A cells. Immunofluorescence staining, a laser-induced rat CNV model and intravitreal injection techniques were used to confirm the relationships among these molecules in vitro and in vivo. RPE-RF/6A cell co-culture systems were used to investigate the effects of Dll4/Notch signals on CNV angiogenesis. We found that the Dll4 was involved in hypoxia signaling in CNV angiogenesis. Results from the co-culture system showed that the enhancement of Dll4 expression in RF/6A cells led to the significantly faster proliferation and stronger tube forming ability, but inhibited cells migration and invasion across a monolayer of RPE cells in hypoxic environment, while siRNA-mediated Dll4 silencing caused the opposite effects. Pharmacological disruption of Notch signaling using gamma-secretase inhibitor (GSI) produced similar, but not identical effects, to that caused by the Dll4 siRNA. In addition, the expression of several key molecules involved in the angiogenesis of CNV was altered in RF/6A cells showing constitutively active Dll4 expression. These results suggest that Dll4 play an important role in CNV angiogenesis, which appears to be regulated by HIF-1α and VEGF during the progression of CNV under hypoxic conditions. Targeting Dll4/Notch signaling may facilitate further understanding of the mechanisms that underlie CNV angiogenesis.

PMID:
21526177
PMCID:
PMC3079714
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0018481
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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