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Mol Cells. 2013 Jun;35(6):550-6. doi: 10.1007/s10059-013-0088-8. Epub 2013 May 16.

Angiopoietin-1 elicits pro-inflammatory responses in monocytes and differentiating macrophages.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Institute of Endemic Disease, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


The angiopoietin/Tie2 system is an important regulator of angiogenesis and inflammation. In addition to its functions in endothelial cells, Tie2 expression on non-endothelial cells allows for angiopoietin ligands to stimulate the cells. Although Ang1 is a strong Tie2 receptor agonist, little is known regarding the effect of Ang1 on non-endothelial cells, such as monocytes and macrophages. In this study, we found that Ang1 functionally binds to and stimulates monocytes via p38 and Erk1/2 phosphorylation. Ang1-mediated monocyte stimulation is associated with proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α expression. We also determined that Ang1 switched macrophage differentiation toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype, even in the presence of an anti-inflammatory mediator. These findings suggest that Ang1 plays a role in stimulating pro-inflammatory responses and could provide a new strategy by which to manage inflammatory responses.

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