Pericyte-Derived MFG-E8 Regulates Pathologic Angiogenesis
Objective—MFG-E8 (also called lactadherin and SED1) is a secreted glycoprotein that has been previously implicated in enhancement of vascular endothelial growth factor–dependent angiogenesis. Major sources of MFG-E8 in vivo and precise mechanisms of MFG-E8 action remain undetermined. The objective of this study was to identify important sources of MFG-E8 in vivo and further elucidate the role(s) of MFG-E8 in the regulation of angiogenesis.
Methods and Results—We used knockout mice and anti-MFG-E8 antibodies to study MFG-E8 function in vivo. In melanomas and in retinas of mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy, MFG-E8 colocalized with pericytes rather than endothelial cells, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor β+ pericytes/pericyte precursors purified from tumors contained large amounts of MFG-E8 mRNA. Tumor- and retinopathy-associated angiogenesis was diminished in MFG-E8 knockout mice, and pericyte coverage of neovessels was reduced. Inhibition of MFG-E8 production by 10T1/2 cells (surrogate pericyte/pericyte precursors) using small interfering RNAs and short hairpin RNAs, or inhibition of MFG-E8 action with some anti-MFG-E8 antibodies, selectively attenuated migration in vitro. Significantly, the anti-MFG-E8 antibodies that inhibited 10T1/2 cell migration in vitro also inhibited pathological angiogenesis in vivo.
Conclusion—These studies strongly implicate MFG-E8 in pericytes/pericyte precursor function and indicate that MFG-E8-directed therapeutics may merit further development.
- Received January 25, 2011.
- Accepted June 25, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.