Cell-specific impact of nitric oxide-dependent guanylyl cyclase on arteriogenesis and angiogenesis in mice.

PMID 25795218


Nitric oxide (NO) acts as essential regulator of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis and is critical for arteriogenesis. Whether NO's effects in vivo are mediated through NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC) and thus by cGMP-dependent mechanisms has been only poorly addressed. Mice lacking NO-GC globally or specifically in smooth muscle cells (SMC) or endothelial cells (EC) were subjected to two established models for arteriogenesis and angiogenesis, namely hindlimb ischemia and oxygen-induced retinopathy. Our data clearly show the involvement of NO-GC in the recovery of blood flow after hindlimb ischemia, and this effect could be attributed to NO-GC in SMC. In the retina, global deletion of NO-GC led to reduced oxygen-induced vessel loss and hypoxia-induced capillary regrowth, whereas pathological neovascularization was increased. These effects were also seen in mice with SMC-specific NO-GC deletion but not in animals lacking NO-GC in EC. Intriguingly, NO-GC was found to be strongly expressed in retinal pericytes. Our data prove the involvement of NO-GC in growth and plasticity of hindlimb and retinal vasculature after ischemic/hypoxic insult.