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Angiogenic microvascular endothelial cells release microparticles rich in tissue factor that promotes postischemic collateral vessel formation

OBJECTIVE: Therapeutic angiogenesis is a promising strategy for treating ischemia. Our previous work showed that endogenous endothelial tissue factor (TF) expression induces intracrine signaling and switches-on angiogenesis in microvascular endothelial cells (mECs). We have hypothesized that activated mECs could exert a further paracrine regulation through the release of TF-rich microvascular endothelial microparticles (mEMPs) and induce neovascularization of ischemic tissues.
APPROACH AND RESULTS:
Here, we describe for the first time that activated mECs are able to induce reparative neovascularization in ischemic zones by releasing TF-rich microparticles. We show in vitro and in vivo that mEMPs released by both wild-type and TF-upregulated-mECs induce angiogenesis and collateral vessel formation, whereas TF-poor mEMPs derived from TF-silenced mECs are not able to trigger angiogenesis. Isolated TF-bearing mEMPs delivered to nonperfused adductor muscles in a murine hindlimb ischemia model enhance collateral flow and capillary formation evidenced by MRI. TF-bearing mEMPs increase angiogenesis operating via paracrine regulation of neighboring endothelial cells, signaling through the β1-integrin pathway Rac1-ERK1/2-ETS1 and triggering CCL2 (chemokine [C-C motif] ligand 2) production to form new and competent mature neovessels.
CONCLUSIONS:
These findings demonstrate that TF-rich mEMPs released by microvascular endothelial cells can overcome the consequences of arterial occlusion and tissue ischemia by promoting postischemic neovascularization and tissue reperfusion.

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Institut Català de Ciències Cardiovasculars
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Pavelló del Convent
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