The Angiogenic Factor Secretoneurin Induces Coronary Angiogenesis in a Model of Myocardial Infarction by Stimulation of VEGF Signaling in Endothelial Cells
Background—Secretoneurin is a neuropeptide located in nerve fibers along blood vessels, is up-regulated by hypoxia and induces angiogenesis. We tested the hypothesis that secretoneurin gene therapy exerts beneficial effects in a rat model of myocardial infarction and evaluated the mechanism of action on coronary endothelial cells.
Methods and Results—In-vivo secretoneurin improved left ventricular function, inhibited remodeling and reduced scar formation. In the infarct border zone secretoneurin induced coronary angiogenesis as shown by increased density of capillaries and arteries. In-vitro secretoneurin induced capillary tubes, stimulated proliferation, inhibited apoptosis and activated Akt and ERK in coronary endothelial cells. Effects were abrogated by a VEGF-antibody and secretoneurin stimulated VEGF receptors in these cells. Secretoneurin furthermore increased binding of VEGF to endothelial cells and binding was blocked by heparinase indicating that secretoneurin stimulates binding of VEGF to heparan sulfate proteoglycan binding sites. Additionally, secretoneurin increased binding of VEGF to its co-receptor neuropilin 1. In endothelial cells secretoneurin also stimulated FGF receptor-3 and IGF-1 receptor and in coronary vascular smooth muscle cells we observed stimulation of VEGF receptor-1 and FGF receptor-3. Exposure of cardiac myocytes to hypoxia and ischemic heart after myocardial infarction revealed increased secretoneurin m-RNA and protein.
Conclusions—Our data show that secretoneurin acts as an endogenous stimulator of VEGF signaling in coronary endothelial cells by enhancing binding of VEGF to low affinity binding sites and neuropilin 1 and stimulates further growth factor receptors like FGF receptor-3. Our in-vivo findings indicate that secretoneurin might be a promising therapeutic tool in ischemic heart disease.
- Received November 1, 2011.
- Accepted October 5, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited