Myocardium consists of diverse cell types suggesting a role for cell-cell interaction in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the heart. Cardiac fibroblasts are the source of extracellular matrix, growth factors and cytokines in the heart and their interactions with cardiac myocytes are recognized. Their effects on biological responses of endothelial cells, however, are vastly unexplored. Proliferation of endothelial cells is an essential stage of angiogenesis and contributes to development of coronary collaterals. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of soluble factors produced by cardiac fibroblasts on endothelial cell proliferation. Human cardiac fibroblast-conditioned medium (CF-CM) caused a significant increase (47%, P < 0.0001) in DNA synthesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), as determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation. This effect was dependent on de novo protein synthesis and activation of MAP kinases. Consistently, CF-CM induced the expression and activation of ERK2 in HUVEC. The CF-CM from which heparin-binding proteins were removed, had a significantly enhanced stimulatory effect on DNA synthesis in HUVEC compared to that of 'whole CF-CM'. Western analysis showed the presence of VEGF, bFGF, PDGF, TGF-β1, fibronectin and thrombospondin-1 in whole CF-CM. The individual immunodepletion of each factor from whole CF-CM showed that all were necessary for full activity of CF-CM. CF-CM caused a significant reversal of hypoxia-induced inhibition of DNA synthesis and enhanced expression of survival-associated protein, Bcl2, in HUVEC. Together, these data show that cardiac fibroblasts release inhibitory and stimulatory factors, the net effect of which is an enhancement of DNA synthesis in endothelial cells. These results point to the role that cardiac fibroblasts may play in angiogenesis in the heart. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
Zhao, L., & Eghbali-Webb, M. (2001). Release of pro- and anti-angiogenic factors by human cardiac fibroblasts: Effects on DNA synthesis and protection under hypoxia in human endothelial cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1538(2–3), 273–282. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-4889(01)00078-7