Affiliation: Department of Cardiology, Zhongshan Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, 361004, China.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) play important roles in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, respectively. Thus, targeting both aspects of cardiovascular tissue regeneration may offer promising therapeutic options for cardiovascular disorders. To this end, we constructed a lentiviral vector (pNL) with the Ang-1 gene and transfected EPCs with it (Ang-1-EPCs) to investigate vasculogenesis in both cellular and animal models. Compared to controls, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) increased significantly in both untreated EPCs and in the pNL vector group. After Ang-1 transcription, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 decreased considerably in those treatment groups. Ang-1-modified EPCs alleviated inflammatory responses induced by tumornecrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in vitro. Moreover, Ang-1-EPC implantation inhibited neointimal hyperplasia after balloon catheter injury in rats, dramatically diminishing the intimal-media (I/M) ratio and decreasing the neointimal area. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen expression in the Ang-1-EPC group was lower than the EPC non-treatment group as well, suggesting that Ang-1-EPC improved cell survival during inflammation and promoted endothelialization in damaged blood vessels.