Inhibition of microvascular endothelial cell apoptosis by angiopoietin-1 and the involvement of cytochrome C

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Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) is an endothelial-specific growth factor that can promote angiogenesis. Studies demonstrated that Ang-1 can inhibit apoptosis of umbilical endothelial cells, but so far little is known about its effects on apoptosis of microvascular endothelial cells. With the apoptotic model of murinecerebral-derived microvascular endothelial cells (bEnd.3) induced by serum-free culture,we attempted to clarify the molecular mechanism of bEnd.3 apoptosis, particularly its relation to cytochrome C (Cyt C).


The cultured microvascular endothelial cell strain, bEnd.3 cell, was employed. An apoptotic model of bEnd.3 was established by serum-free culture. Flow cytometry after Annexin labeling and PI staining were used to assess the apoptotic effects of Ang-1 on bEnd.3, and the expression of Bax/Bcl-2, caspase 8, caspase 3, and Cyt C were detected with Western blotting and ELISA.


The apoptotic rate of bEnd.3 cells after stimulation with Ang-1 (100 ng/L) in serum-free medium was significantly higher than that in control group. Ang-1 inhibited early-stage apoptosis more than late-stage apoptosis provided by propidium iodide (PI) and AnnexinV double staining. The inhibition of Ang-1 on bEnd.3 cell apoptosis was strengthened with the increase in concentration (0-400 ng/ml). Ang-1 could decrease the expression of Bax, caspase3 and 8, and increase that of Bcl-2. The results of ELISA indicated that Ang-1 significantly decreased CytC content in cytoplasm and increase that in mitochondria.


Ang-1 could inhibit bEnd.3 apoptosis induced by serum-free medium culture. The apoptosis was associated with decreased Bax expression, increased Bcl-2 expression, which result in Cyt C transferring from mitochondria to cytoplasm, and then caspases activation are reduced and cell apoptosis is suppressed.

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