Intra and extravascular transmembrane signalling of angiopoietin-1-Tie2 receptor in health and disease

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Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) is the primary agonist for Tie2 tyrosine kinase receptor (Tie2), and the effect of Ang-1-Tie2 signalling is context-dependent. Deficiency in either Ang-1 or Tie2 protein leads to severe microvascular defects and subsequent embryonic lethality in murine model. Tie2 receptors are expressed in several cell types, including endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, epithelial cells, monocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils and glial cells. Ang-1-Tie2 signalling induces a chemotactic effect in smooth muscle cells, neutrophils and eosinophils, and induces differentiation of mesenchymal cells to smooth muscle cells. Additionally, this signalling pathway induces the secretion of serotonin, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and plasmin. Ang-1 inhibits the secretion of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMPs). Aberrant expression and activity of Tie2 in vascular and non-vascular cells may result in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, hypertension and psoriasis. Ang-1 has an anti-inflammatory effect, when co-localized with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the vasculature. Thus, Ang-1 could be potentially important in the therapy of various pathological conditions such as pulmonary hypertension, arteriosclerosis and diabetic retinopathy. In this article, we have summarized and critically reviewed the pathophysiological role of Ang-1-Tie2 signalling pathway.

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