Inserm, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale
Faculté de pharmacie, Aix Marseille Université

Accueil » Publications » Communications internationales » A switch towards angiostatic gene expression impairs the angiogenic (...)

A switch towards angiostatic gene expression impairs the angiogenic properties of endothelial progenitor cells in low birth weight pre-term infants

Ligi I, Simoncini S, Tellier E, Vassallo P.F, Sabatier F, Guillet B, Lamy E, Sarlon G, Quemener C, Bikfalvi A, Marcelli M, Pascal A, Dizier B, Simeoni U, Dignat-George F, Anfosso F. Blood. 2011. Aug 11 ;118(6):1699-709. IF : 9.9


Low birth weight (LBW) is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases at adulthood. Nevertheless, the impact of LBW on the endothelium is not clearly established. We investigate whether LBW alters the angiogenic properties of cord blood endothelial colony forming cells (LBW-ECFCs) in 25 preterm neonates compared with 25 term neonates (CT-ECFCs). We observed that LBW decreased the number of colonies formed by ECFCs and delayed the time of appearance of their clonal progeny. LBW dramatically reduced LBW-ECFC capacity to form sprouts and tubes, to migrate and to proliferate in vitro.

The angiogenic defect of LBW-ECFCs was confirmed in vivo by their inability to form robust capillary networks in Matrigel plugs injected in nu/nu mice. Gene profile analysis of LBW-ECFCs demonstrated an increased expression of antiangiogenic genes. Among them, thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) was highly expressed at RNA and protein levels in LBW-ECFCs. Silencing THBS1 restored the angiogenic properties of LBW-ECFCs by increasing AKT phosphorylation.

The imbalance toward an angiostatic state provide a mechanistic link between LBW and the impaired angiogenic properties of ECFCs and allows the identification of THBS1 as a novel player in LBW-ECFC defect, opening new perspectives for novel deprogramming agents.