Cyclophilin A modulates bone marrow-derived CD117+ cells and enhances ischemia-induced angiogenesis via the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis

Gianluca L. Perrucci, Stefania Straino, Maria Corlianò, Alessandro Scopece, Monica Napolitano, Bradford C. Berk, Federico Lombardi, Giulio Pompilio, Maurizio Capogrossi, Patrizia Nigro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a major health problem with no adequate treatment. Since CLI is characterized by insufficient tissue vascularization, efforts have focused on the discovery of novel angiogenic factors. Cyclophilin A (CyPA) is an immunophilin that has been shown to promote angiogenesis in vitro and to enhance bone marrow (BM) cell mobilization in vivo. However, its potential as an angiogenic factor in CLI is still unknown. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate whether CyPA might induce neo-angiogenesis in ischemic tissues. Methods and results Wild-type C57Bl/6j mice underwent acute hind-limb ischemia (HLI) and received a single intramuscular administration of recombinant CyPA or saline. Limb perfusion, capillary density and arteriole number in adductor muscles were significantly increased after CyPA treatment. Interestingly, BM-derived CD117+ cell recruitment was significantly higher in ischemic adductor tissue of mice treated with CyPA versus saline. Therefore, the effect of CyPA on isolated BM-derived CD117+ cells in vitro was evaluated. Low concentrations of CyPA stimulated CD117+ cell proliferation while high concentrations promoted cell death. Moreover, CyPA enhanced CD117+ cell adhesion and migration in a dose-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies revealed that CyPA up-regulated CXCR4 in CD117+ cells and in adductor muscles after ischemia. Additionally, SDF-1/CXCR4 axis inhibition by the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 decreased CyPA-mediated CD117+ cell recruitment in the ischemic limb. Conclusion CyPA induces neo-angiogenesis by recruiting BM-derived CD117+ cell into ischemic tissues, at least in part, through SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • CD117 cells
  • Cyclophilin A
  • Hind-limb ischemia
  • Neo-angiogenesis
  • SDF-1/CXCR4 axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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