Vitronectin decreases microvascular endothelial cell apoptosis

F. Frank Isik, Nicole S. Gibran, Young Chul Jang, Linda Sandell, Stephen M. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Angiogenesis after tissue injury occurs in a matrix environment consisting of fibrin, fibronectin, and vitronectin as the major extracellular matrix (ECM) constituents. ECM-integrin interactions is critical for angiogenesis and failure to bind a ligand to certain integrin receptors (α(v)β3 or α(v)β5) inhibits angiogenesis. The ligand that binds to α(v)β5 integrin receptors during microvascular angiogenesis has not been identified. Our hypothesis is that provisional matrix molecules provide the environmental context cues to microvascular endothelial cells and promote angiogenesis by decreased programmed cell death. Using cultured human microvascular endothelial cells, we show that vitronectin, in comparison to growth on alternative provisional matrix molecules (fibronectin, fibrinogen plus thrombin), collagen I, and basement membrane molecules (collagen IV), significantly reduces microvascular endothelial cell death in vitro. This reduction was observed using morphologic criteria, TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, histone release into the cytoplasm, and thymidine release into the supernatant. Though our data confirm that vitronectin may bind to more than one integrin receptor to reduce MEC apoptosis, binding to the α(v) component appears to be the critical integrin subcomponent for reducing apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1998


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