The angiogenic response of the aorta to injury and inflammatory cytokines requires macrophages

Maurizio Gelati, Alfred C. Aplin, Eric Fogel, Kelly D. Smith, Roberto F. Nicosia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to define early events during the angiogenic response of the aortic wall to injury. Rat aortic rings produced neovessels in collagen culture but lost this capacity over time. These quiescent rings responded to vascular endothelial growth factor but not to a mixture of macrophage-stimulatory cytokines and chemokines that was angiogenically active on fresh rings. Analysis of cytokine receptor expression revealed selective loss in quiescent rings of the proangiogenic chemokine receptor CXCR2, which was expressed predominantly in aortic macrophages. Pharmacologic inhibition of CXCR2 impaired angiogenesis from fresh rings but had no effect on vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis from quiescent explants. Angiogenesis was also impaired in cultures of aortic rings from CXCR2-deficient mice. Reduced CXCR2 expression in quiescent rat aortic rings correlated with marked macrophage depletion. Pharmacologic ablation of macrophages from aortic explants blocked formation of neovessels in vitro and reduced aortic ring-induced angiogenesis in vivo. The angiogenic response of macrophage-depleted rings was completely restored by adding exogenous macrophages. Moreover, angiogenesis from fresh rings was promoted by macrophage CSF (CSF-1) and inhibited with anti-CSF-1 Ab. Thus, aortic angiogenic sprouting following injury is strongly influenced by conditions that modulate resident macrophage numbers and function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5711-5719
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)


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