Skeletal muscle-endothelial cell cross talk through angiotensin II
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The role of angiotensin II (ANG II) in postnatal vasculogenesis and angiogenesis during skeletal muscle (SKM) regeneration is unknown. We examined the capacity of ANG II to stimulate capillary formation and growth during cardiotoxin-induced muscle regeneration in ACE inhibitor-treated ANG II type 1a receptor knockout (AT1a(-/-)) and C57Bl/6 control mice. Analysis of tibialis anterior (TA) cross-sections revealed 17% and 23% reductions in capillarization in AT1a(-/-) and captopril treated mice, respectively, when compared with controls, 21 days postinjury. Conversely, no differences in capillarization were detected at early time points (7 and 10 days). These results identify ANG II as a regulator of angiogenesis but not vasculogenesis in vivo. In vitro angiogenesis assays of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) further confirmed ANG II as proangiogeneic as 71% and 124% increases in tube length and branch point number were observed following ANG II treatment. Importantly, treatment of HUVECs with conditioned media from differentiated muscle cells resulted in an 84% and 203% increase in tube length and branch point number compared with controls, which was abolished following pretreatment of the cells with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. The pro-angiogenic effect of ANG II can be attributed to an enhanced endothelial cell migration because both transwell and under agarose migration assays revealed a 37% and 101% increase in cell motility, respectively. Collectively, these data highlight ANG II as a proangiogenic regulator during SKM regeneration in vivo and more importantly demonstrates that ANG II released from SKM can signal endothelial cells and regulate angiogenesis through the induction of endothelial cell migration.
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