VEGFR2 is activated by high-density lipoproteins and plays a key role in the proangiogenic action of HDL in ischemia

Carla M. Cannizzo, Aaron A. Adonopulos, Emma L. Solly, Anisyah Ridiandries, Laura Z. Vanags, Jocelyne Mulangala, Sui Ching G. Yuen, Tania Tsatralis, Rodney Henriquez, Stacy Robertson, Stephen J. Nicholls, Belinda A. Di Bartolo, Martin K.C. Ng, Yuen Ting Lam, Christina A. Bursill, Joanne T.M. Tan

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High-density lipoproteins augment hypoxia-induced angiogenesis by inducing the key angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and total protein levels of its receptor 2 (VEGFR2). The activation/ phosphorylation of VEGFR2 is critical formediating downstream, angiogenic signaling events. This study aimed to determine whether reconstituted high-density lipoprotein (rHDL) activates VEGFR2 phosphorylation and the downstream signaling events and the importance of VEGFR2 in the proangiogenic effects of rHDL in hypoxia. In vitro, rHDL increased VEGFR2 activation and enhanced phosphorylation of downstream, angiogenic signaling proteins ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK in hypoxia. Incubation with a VEGFR2-neutralizing antibody attenuated rHDLinduced phosphorylation of VEGFR2, ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and tubule formation. In a murine model of ischemiadriven neovascularization, rHDL infusions enhanced blood perfusion and augmented capillary and arteriolar density. Infusion of a VEGFR2-neutralizing antibody ablated those proangiogenic effects of rHDL. Circulating Sca1 + /CXCR4 + angiogenic progenitor cell levels, important for neovascularization in response to ischemia, were higher in rHDL-infused mice 3 d after ischemic induction, but that did not occur in mice that also received the VEGFR2-neutralizing antibody. In summary, VEGFR2 has a key role in the proangiogenic effects of rHDL in hypoxia/ischemia. These findings have therapeutic implications for angiogenic diseases associated with an impaired response to tissue ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2911-2922
Number of pages12
JournalThe FASEB Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Angiogenesis
  • Apoa-I
  • Hypoxia

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