PloS one

Cell density impacts epigenetic regulation of cytokine-induced E-selectin gene expression in vascular endothelium.

PMID 24690766


Growing evidence suggests that the phenotype of endothelial cells during angiogenesis differs from that of quiescent endothelial cells, although little is known regarding the difference in the susceptibility to inflammation between both the conditions. Here, we assessed the inflammatory response in sparse and confluent endothelial cell monolayers. To obtain sparse and confluent monolayers, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were seeded at a density of 7.3 × 10(3) cells/cm(2) and 29.2 × 10(3) cells/cm(2), respectively, followed by culturing for 36 h and stimulation with tumor necrosis factor α. The levels of tumor necrosis factor α-induced E-selectin protein and mRNA expression were higher in the confluent monolayer than in the sparse monolayer. The phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase or nuclear factor-κB activation was not involved in this phenomenon. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay of the E-selectin promoter using an anti-acetyl-histone H3 antibody showed that the E-selectin promoter was highly and specifically acetylated in the confluent monolayer after tumor necrosis factor α activation. Furthermore, chromatin accessibility real-time PCR showed that the chromatin accessibility at the E-selectin promoter was higher in the confluent monolayer than in the sparse monolayer. Our data suggest that the inflammatory response may change during blood vessel maturation via epigenetic mechanisms that affect the accessibility of chromatin.