The role of β-adrenergic receptor signaling in the proliferation of hemangioma-derived endothelial cells

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UNLABELLED: <br /><br />BACKGROUND: Infantile hemangioma (IH) is a benign vascular neoplasm that arises from the abnormal proliferation of endothelial cells and enhanced angiogenesis. Recently, propranolol has been found to be effective in the management of IH, suggesting that β-adrenergic receptors (β-ARs) may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IH.<br /><br />RESULTS: In the present study, we investigated the β-adrenergic signaling that is associated with hemangioma-derived endothelial cell (HemEC) proliferation. The results showed that both β1- and β2-ARs were expressed in HemECs. Stimulation of the β-ARs by isoprenaline induced cell proliferation and elevation of second messenger cAMP levels. The proliferation-promoting action of isoprenaline was abolished by a β1-selective antagonist and was more effectively abolished by a β2-selective antagonist; the mechanism for the action of the antagonists was a G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest which was associated with decreased cyclin D1, CDK-4, CDK-6 and phospho-Rb expression. Pre-treatment of the cells with VEGFR-2 or ERK inhibitors also prevented the isoprenaline-mediated proliferation of cells. In agreement with the involvement of β-ARs and VEGFR-2 in the HemEC response, β-AR antagonists and the VEGFR-2 inhibitor significantly attenuated isoprenaline-induced ERK phosphorylation. Moreover, treating the cells with isoprenaline markedly increased VEGF-A expression and VEGFR-2 activity in a β2-AR-dependent manner.<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS: We have demonstrated that the activation of the β-ARs in the ERK pathway may be important mechanisms in promoting HemEC growth. Furthermore, stimulation of the β-AR may transactivate VEGFR-2 signaling and further increase HemEC proliferation.




Ji, Y., Chen, S., Li, K., Xiao, X., Zheng, S., & Xu, T. (2013). The role of β-adrenergic receptor signaling in the proliferation of hemangioma-derived endothelial cells. Cell Division, 8(1).

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