Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is cardioprotective in various models of myocardial infarction. FGF receptors (FGFRs) are expressed in multiple cell types in the adult heart, but the cell type-specific FGFR signaling that mediates different cardioprotective endpoints is not known. To determine the requirement for FGFR signaling in endothelium in cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, we conditionally in-activated the Fgfr1 and Fgfr2 genes in endothelial cells with Tie2-Cre (Tie2-Cre, Fgfr1f/f, Fgfr2f/f DCKO mice). Tie2-Cre, Fgfr1f/f, Fgfr2f/f DCKO mice had normal baseline cardiac morphometry, function, and vessel density. When subjected to closed-chest, regional cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, Tie2-Cre, Fgfr1f/f, Fgfr2f/f DCKO mice showed a significantly increased hypokinetic area at 7 days, but not 1 day, after reperfusion. Tie2-Cre, Fgfr1f/f, Fgfr2f/f DCKO mice also showed significantly worsened cardiac function compared with con-trols at 7 days but not 1 day after reperfusion. Pathophysiological analysis showed significantly decreased vessel density, increased endothelial cell apoptosis, and worsened tissue hypoxia in the peri-infarct area at 7 days following reperfusion. Notably, Tie2-Cre, Fgfr1f/f, Fgfr2f/f DCKO mice showed no impairment in the cardiac hypertrophic response. These data demonstrate an essential role for FGFR1 and FGFR2 in endothelial cells for cardiac functional recov-ery and vascular remodeling following in vivo cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, without affecting the cardiac hypertrophic re-sponse. This study suggests the potential for therapeutic benefit from activation of endothelial FGFR pathways following ischemic injury to the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H559-H571
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Endothelium
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Vascular remodeling


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