Interaction between fibrinogen and cultured endothelial cells. Induction of migration and specific binding

E. Dejana, L. R. Languino, N. Polentarutti, G. Balconi, J. J. Ryckewaert, M. J. Larrieu, M. B. Donati, A. Mantovani, G. Marguerie

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It has been suggested that fibrinogen (fg) or its physiological derivatives influence the motility and growth of endothelial cells (ECs), but direct support for this concept is still lacking. In the present study, the capacity of fg to interact with ECs and induce the migration of ECs was examined. The capacity of fg to induce EC migration was studied by means of a modification of the Boyden chamber technique. fg in the lower compartment of the chamber caused a time- and concentration-dependent migration of ECs across filters. fg present in equal concentrations above and below the filter increased EC migration, but the maximal effect invariably occurred in the presence of a gradient between the lower and the upper compartments. Trypsin or plasmin digestion of fg and preincubation of fg with Fab fragments from specific antibody completely abolished fg-induced EC migratioin. Dialysis of fg to eliminate small peptides that might contaminate the preparation did not modify fg-induced migration. Plasma obtained from healthy donors induced EC migration, but plasma from an afibrinogenemic patient was completely ineffective. The addition of purified fg to afibrinogenemic plasma restored plasma-induced EC migration. Plasmin degradation fragments D and E, of 100,000 and 50,000 mol wt, respectively, did not induce EC migration. However, fragment E caused dose-related inhibition of fg-induced EC migration. Direct interaction of highly purified radioiodinated human fg with cultured human and bovine ECs was observed. The binding was time dependent and plateaued at 10 min. Nonlabeled fg in a large molar excess inhibited the interaction, but unrelated proteins, including fibronectin, ovalbumin, and myoglobin, did not. Monospecific Fab fragments directed to fg inhibited binding by 38% at a 50 to 1 molar ratio whereas nonimmune Fab caused only 2% inhibition at a similar concentration. The binding of 125I-fg with ECs was saturable, and an apparent dissociation constant of 0.23 x 10-6 M was estimated from binding isotherms. After 30 min of incubation the interaction between 125I-fg and the cells was completely reversible and displaceable by a large molar excess of unlabeled fg. Autoradiography of the display of EC-bound 125I on polyacrylamide gel showed the constitutive Bβ- and γ-chains of the fg molecule, with a partial loss of the Aα-chain. Purified fragment E and D were tested for their capacity to inhibit fg binding. At a 1 to 400 125I-fg-to-fragment molar ratio, fragment E, which also inhibited migration, competed for binding by 44%, but fragment D was completely ineffective. These data show that fg may specifically associate with ECs and induce migration of these cells; it also appears that the structural requirement of this activity is located in the N-terminal part of the molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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