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J Cell Physiol. 2015 Jan;230(1):140-9. doi: 10.1002/jcp.24690.

CCN1 secreted by tonsil-derived mesenchymal stem cells promotes endothelial cell angiogenesis via integrin αv β3 and AMPK.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine, School of Medicine, and Global Top 5 Research Program, Ewha Womans University, Mok-6-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 158-710, Republic of Korea.


CCN1 is highly expressed in cancer cells and has been identified in the secretome of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC). Although secreted CCN1 is known to promote angiogenesis, its underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we examined whether our recently-established tonsil-derived MSC (T-MSC) secrete CCN1 and, if any, how CCN1 promotes the angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Compared with untreated control T-MSC, a higher level of CCN1 was secreted by T-MSC treated with activin A and sonic hedgehog, drugs known to induce endodermal differentiation. Expectedly, conditioned medium collected from differentiated T-MSC (DCM) significantly increased HUVEC migration and tube formation compared with that from control T-MSC (CCM), and these stimulatory effects were reversed by neutralization with anti-CCN1 antibody. Treatment with recombinant human CCN1 (rh-CCN1) alone also mimicked the stimulatory effects of DCM. Furthermore, treatment with either DCM or rh-CCN1 increased the phosphorylation of AMP kinase (AMPK), and ectopic expression of siRNA of the AMPK gene inhibited all observed effects of both DCM and rh-CCN1. However, no alteration of intracellular ATP levels or phosphorylation of LKB1, a well-known upstream factor of AMPK activation, was observed under our conditions. Finally, the neutralization of integrin α(v) β(3) with anti-integrin α(v) β(3) antibody almost completely reversed the effects of CCN1 on AMPK phosphorylation, and EC migration and tube formation. Taken together, we demonstrated that T-MSC increase the secretion of CCN1 in response to endodermal differentiation and that integrin α(v) β(3) and AMPK mediate CCN1-induced EC migration and tube formation independent of intracellular ATP levels alteration.

© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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