Expression and subcellular distribution of basic fibroblast growth factor are regulated during migration of endothelial cells.
Migration of endothelial cells is involved in normal and pathological angiogenesis and in re-endothelialization after vascular injury or rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. Several types of endothelial cells are known to synthesize basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF); in some of these, migration is increased by exogenous bFGF and inhibited by anti-bFGF antibodies. Using immunocytochemical techniques and RNase protection analysis, we studied endothelial cells from bovine coronary arteries and veins as well as from adrenal microvessels. We found that bFGF mRNA and peptide were present in confluent endothelial cells and were upregulated during migration stimulated by removal of some cells from the monolayer. During migration, extracellular matrix stores of bFGF were depleted, and bFGF immunoreactivity began to accumulate in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells between 2 and 6 hours. After migration had begun, but before the initiation of DNA synthesis, bFGF immunoreactivity increased in the nuclei and nucleoli. Exogenous bFGF stimulated endothelial migration, and antibodies to bFGF markedly inhibited migration, suggesting that an intracrine function of nuclear bFGF is not sufficient for cell migration. In all three types of endothelial cells studied, bFGF was identified as an endogenous regulator, but not as the sole regulator, or migration. Moreover, bFGF expression and subcellular localization were found to be regulated during endothelial cell migration.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association