• Elevated expression of VEGFR-3 in lymphatic endothelial cells from lymphangiomas.

      Norgall, Susanne; Papoutsi, Maria; Rössler, Jochen; Schweigerer, Lothar; Wilting, Jörg; Weich, Herbert A; Department Gene Regulation and Differentiation, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. susannenorgall@gmx.de <susannenorgall@gmx.de> (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Lymphangiomas are neoplasias of childhood. Their etiology is unknown and a causal therapy does not exist. The recent discovery of highly specific markers for lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) has permitted their isolation and characterization, but expression levels and stability of molecular markers on LECs from healthy and lymphangioma tissues have not been studied yet. We addressed this problem by profiling LECs from normal dermis and two children suffering from lymphangioma, and also compared them with blood endothelial cells (BECs) from umbilical vein, aorta and myometrial microvessels. METHODS: Lymphangioma tissue samples were obtained from two young patients suffering from lymphangioma in the axillary and upper arm region. Initially isolated with anti-CD31 (PECAM-1) antibodies, the cells were separated by FACS sorting and magnetic beads using anti-podoplanin and/or LYVE-1 antibodies. Characterization was performed by FACS analysis, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA and micro-array gene analysis. RESULTS: LECs from foreskin and lymphangioma had an almost identical pattern of lymphendothelial markers such as podoplanin, Prox1, reelin, cMaf and integrin-alpha1 and -alpha9. However, LYVE-1 was down-regulated and VEGFR-2 and R-3 were up-regulated in lymphangiomas. Prox1 was constantly expressed in LECs but not in any of the BECs. CONCLUSION: LECs from different sources express slightly variable molecular markers, but can always be distinguished from BECs by their Prox1 expression. High levels of VEGFR-3 and -2 seem to contribute to the etiology of lymphangiomas.
    • The role of heterodimerization between VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in the regulation of endothelial cell homeostasis.

      Cudmore, Melissa J; Hewett, Peter W; Ahmad, Shakil; Wang, Ke-Qing; Cai, Meng; Al-Ani, Bahjat; Fujisawa, Takeshi; Ma, Bin; Sissaoui, Samir; Ramma, Wenda; et al. (2012)
      VEGF-A activity is tightly regulated by ligand and receptor availability. Here we investigate the physiological function of heterodimers between VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1; Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR; Flk-1) (VEGFR(1-2)) in endothelial cells with a synthetic ligand that binds specifically to VEGFR(1-2). The dimeric ligand comprises one VEGFR-2-specific monomer (VEGF-E) and a VEGFR-1-specific monomer (PlGF-1). Here we show that VEGFR(1-2) activation mediates VEGFR phosphorylation, endothelial cell migration, sustained in vitro tube formation and vasorelaxation via the nitric oxide pathway. VEGFR(1-2) activation does not mediate proliferation or elicit endothelial tissue factor production, confirming that these functions are controlled by VEGFR-2 homodimers. We further demonstrate that activation of VEGFR(1-2) inhibits VEGF-A-induced prostacyclin release, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 MAP kinase and mobilization of intracellular calcium from primary endothelial cells. These findings indicate that VEGFR-1 subunits modulate VEGF activity predominantly by forming heterodimer receptors with VEGFR-2 subunits and such heterodimers regulate endothelial cell homeostasis.