Contribution of Bcl-2, but Not Bcl-xL and Bax, to Antiapoptotic Actions of Hepatocyte Growth Factor in Hypoxia-Conditioned Human Endothelial Cells

K. Yamamoto, R. Morishita, S.-i. Hayashi, H. Matsushita, H. Nakagami, A. Moriguchi, K. Matsumoto, T. Nakamura, Y. Kaneda, T. Ogihara
2001 Hypertension  
Angiogenic growth factors play important roles in angiogenic responses, such as vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in response to hypoxia. A novel angiogenic growth factor, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), has been reported to inhibit endothelial cell death. However, its molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Thus, we studied (1) the effects of HGF on hypoxia-induced endothelial apoptosis and (2) the molecular mechanisms of the antiapoptotic actions of HGF in endothelial cells. Severe hypoxia
more » ... . Severe hypoxia increased the cell death rate in human aortic endothelial cells, whereas HGF significantly attenuated cell death. In addition, hypoxic treatment resulted in a significant increase in apoptotic cells, whereas HGF could attenuate apoptosis, accompanied by attenuation of the increase in caspase-3-like activity (PϽ0.01). Of importance, HGF significantly increased Bcl-2, an inhibitor of apoptosis, in a dose-dependent manner under normoxic and hypoxic conditions (PϽ0.01), whereas hypoxic conditions resulted in a significant decrease in Bcl-2. In contrast, HGF failed to affect Bcl-xL, which is also well known as an inhibitor of apoptosis under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions, whereas Bcl-xL was significantly decreased in endothelial cells exposed to hypoxia (PϽ0.01). No significant change in Bax, a promoter of apoptosis, was also observed in endothelial cells under hypoxia, whereas HGF did not affect Bax. Overall, this study demonstrated that HGF prevented endothelial cell death induced by hypoxia through its antiapoptotic action. The antiapoptotic mechanisms of HGF in hypoxia-induced endothelial cell death largely depend on Bcl-2, but not Bcl-xL and Bax. (Hypertension. 2001;37:1341-1348.)
doi:10.1161/01.hyp.37.5.1341 pmid:11358951 fatcat:l6ycxuhgxfg6nizko3iavr3x4u