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J Lab Clin Med. 1998 Dec;132(6):519-29.

Hypoxia increases thrombospondin-1 transcript and protein in cultured endothelial cells.

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Cancer Research Center and Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118, USA.


The exposure of endothelial cells to hypoxic environments regulates the expression of a number of genes with products that are vasoactive or mitogenic for vascular tissue, including platelet-derived growth factor, endothelin-1, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Hypoxia is also known to alter the adhesive properties of endothelium toward a variety of blood cell types. Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) is a glycoprotein with major roles in cellular adhesion and vascular smooth muscle proliferation and migration. We report here that hypoxia induces TSP-1 gene and protein expression. Oxygen tensions of < or =30 torr resulted in TSP-1 transcript induction initially apparent at 1 to 6 hours, with maximal induction (6.5-fold+/-1.2-fold) within 24 to 48 hours in both human and bovine endothelial cells. TSP-1 protein levels remain elevated after 72 hours of continuous hypoxic exposure. The induction of TSP-1 steady-state transcript levels is caused in large part, if not entirely, by post-transcriptional stabilization of the TSP-1 mRNA. The TSP-1 induction by hypoxia is a graded and reversible physiologic response and can be mimicked by the use of cobalt chloride or the inhibition of nitric oxide production, suggesting both the involvement of a heme-containing oxygen sensor and a role for the endogenous production of nitric oxide in TSP-1 regulation. The effects of hypoxia both on the stabilization of the TSP-1 transcript and the stimulation of TSP-1 protein production are completely inhibited by arginine butyrate.

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