Endothelial C-Type Natriuretic Peptide Is a Critical Regulator of Angiogenesis and Vascular Remodeling

Kristen J. Bubb, Aisah A. Aubdool, Amie J. Moyes, Sarah Lewis, Jonathan P. Drayton, Owen Tang, Vedanta Mehta, Ian C. Zachary, David J. Abraham, Janice Tsui, Adrian J. Hobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Angiogenesis and vascular remodeling are complementary, innate responses to ischemic cardiovascular events, including peripheral artery disease and myocardial infarction, which restore tissue blood supply and oxygenation; the endothelium plays a critical function in these intrinsic protective processes. C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is a fundamental endothelial signaling species that coordinates vascular homeostasis. Herein, we sought to delineate a central role for CNP in angiogenesis and vascular remodeling in response to ischemia. Methods: The in vitro angiogenic capacity of CNP was examined in pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells and aortic rings isolated from wild-type, endothelium-specific CNP-/-, global natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR)-B-/- and NPR-C-/- animals, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells. These studies were complemented by in vivo investigation of neovascularization and vascular remodeling after ischemia or vessel injury, and CNP/NPR-C expression and localization in tissue from patients with peripheral artery disease. Results: Clinical vascular ischemia is associated with reduced levels of CNP and its cognate NPR-C. Moreover, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of CNP and NPR-C, but not NPR-B, reduces the angiogenic potential of pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and isolated vessels ex vivo. Angiogenesis and remodeling are impaired in vivo in endothelium-specific CNP-/- and NPR-C-/-, but not NPR-B-/-, mice; the detrimental phenotype caused by genetic deletion of endothelial CNP, but not NPR-C, can be rescued by pharmacological administration of CNP. The proangiogenic effect of CNP/NPR-C is dependent on activation of Gi, ERK1/2, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ/Akt at a molecular level. Conclusions: These data define a central (patho)physiological role for CNP in angiogenesis and vascular remodeling in response to ischemia and provide the rationale for pharmacological activation of NPR-C as an innovative approach to treating peripheral artery disease and ischemic cardiovascular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1612-1628
Number of pages17
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • endothelium
  • ischemia
  • natriuretic peptide, C-type
  • neovascularization, physiologic
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • vascular remodeling

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