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J Cell Biochem. 1993 Dec;53(4):360-72.

Modulation of human microvascular endothelial cell bioenergetic status and glutathione levels during proliferative and differentiated growth.

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Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus.


During angiogenesis, formerly differentiated human microvascular endothelial cells (HMECs) return to a proliferative growth state. Many fundamental questions regarding HMEC function, such as how HMECs adapt to changes in bioenergetic requirements upon return to proliferative growth, remained unanswered. In this study, we evaluated whether modifications in HMEC bioenergetic profiles and glutathione (GSH) levels accompanied the cellular transition between differentiated and proliferative growth. To provide insight into the continuum of cellular adaptations that occur during this transition, we used a method recently developed in our laboratory that induces a state of morphological and functional predifferentiation in HMECs. Cellular morphology, in conjunction with flow cytometric DNA analyses and HMEC functional assays (the directed migration and intercellular association involved in microtubule formation) were employed to validate the HMEC culture state of growth. Analysis of the HPLC nucleotide profiles disclosed several findings common to all culture growth states. These uniform findings, e.g., cellular energy charges > 0.90, and highly reduced redox states, revealed that cultured HMECs maintain high rates of oxidative metabolism. However, there were also significant, culture growth state related differences in the nucleotide profiles. Proliferative HMECs were shown to possess significantly higher (relative to both large vessel endothelial cells, and differentiated HMECs) levels of GSH and specific nucleotides which were related with a return to the active cell cycle-ATP, GTP, UTP, and CTP, and NADPH. Further, the nucleotide profiles and GSH levels of the predifferentiated HMECs were determined to be intermediate between levels obtained for the proliferative and differentiated HMECs. The results of this study demonstrate that the capacity to modulate their cellular bioenergetic status during growth state transitions is one of the adaptations that enable HMECs to retain a growth state reciprocity. In addition, our findings also show that HMECs, especially during the proliferative growth state, are biochemically distinct from endothelial cells harvested from large vessels, and therefore suggest that HMECs are the cells of choice to employ when studying diseases that affect the human microvasculature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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