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American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology

Increased expression of angiopoietins and Tie2 in the lungs of chronic asthmatic mice.


PMID 20463289

Abstract

Angiopoietin (Ang)1 and Ang2 are ligands for Tie2 tyrosine kinase receptor (Tie2). Elevated levels of Ang1 and Ang2 in induced sputum of patients with asthma have been reported, with a positive correlation of Ang2 levels with the severity of airway occlusion. Although studies have shown Tie2-mediated regulation of nonvascular cells in some pathological conditions, current knowledge on Tie2 signaling in asthma is limited to the vasculature. We examined the expression pattern of Ang1, Ang2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and Tie2 and their correlation with the degree of airway remodeling in the lung of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized and OVA-challenged mice with airway hyperresponsiveness. Lung tissues were isolated from Balb/c mice after OVA sensitization and challenge. Hematoxylin and eosin, periodic acid-Schiff, and trichrome staining were used to show the lung pathology. The expression of Ang1, Ang2, VEGF, and Tie2 was examined using immunofluorescence, Western blot, ELISA, and real-time PCR. In the lung of normal mice, Tie2 expression was detected only in the blood vessels. However, in the lung of OVA-sensitized and OVA-challenged mice, Tie2 was abundantly expressed in airway epithelial cells and in a subset of macrophages in addition to constitutive expression in pulmonary vessels. The increase in Tie2 expression correlated with the severity of airway remodeling. Macrophages and airway epithelial cells express Ang2 and VEGF only in allergic models. Ang1 was constitutively expressed, with a decrease in mRNA level in allergic models. In conclusion, increased expression of Tie2 and Ang2 in allergic airway epithelium and alveolar macrophages correlates with the severity of airway remodeling.