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Keywords:

  • astrocytes;
  • brain injury;
  • endothelin-1;
  • VEGF

Abstract

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Expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors in astrocytes are increased in damaged brains. To clarify the regulatory mechanisms of VEGF receptors, the effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) were examined in rat cultured astrocytes. Expressions of VEGF-R1 and -R2 receptor mRNA were at similar levels, whereas the mRNA expressions of VEGF-R3 and Tie-2, a receptor for angiopoietins, were lower. Placenta growth factor, a selective agonist of the VEGF-R1 receptor, induced phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Phosphorylations of FAK and ERK 1/2 were also stimulated by VEGF-E, a selective VEGF-R2 agonist. Increased phosphorylations of FAK and ERK1/2 by VEGF165 were reduced by selective antagonists for VEGF-R1 and -R2. Treatment with ET-1 increased VEGF-R1 mRNA and protein levels. The effects of ET-1 on VEGF-R1 mRNA were mimicked by Ala1,3,11,15-ET-1, a selective agonist for ETB receptors, and inhibited by BQ788, an ETB antagonist. ET-1 did not affect the mRNA levels of VEGF-R2, -R3, and Tie-2. Pre-treatment with ET-1 potentiated the effects of placenta growth factor on phosphorylations of FAK and ERK1/2. These findings suggest that ET-1 induces up-regulation of VEGF-R1 receptors in astrocytes, and potentiates VEGF signals in damaged nerve tissues.

To clarify the regulatory mechanisms of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, the effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) were examined in rat cultured astrocytes. Effects of selective VEGF-R1 and R2 agonist showed that these receptors were linked to focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Treatment with ET-1 increased expression of VEGF-R1, which was mediated by ETB receptors. Pre-treatment with ET-1 potentiated the VEGF-R1-mediated activations of FAK and ERK1/2. These findings suggest that ET-1 induces up-regulation of VEGF-R1 receptors in astrocytes.