Liver X Receptor Activation Reduces Angiogenesis by Impairing Lipid Raft Localization and Signaling of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
Objective—Liver X receptors (LXRα, LXRβ) are master regulators of cholesterol homeostasis. In the endothelium, perturbations of cell cholesterol have an impact on fundamental processes. We, therefore, assessed the effects of LXR activation on endothelial functions related to angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo.
Methods and Results—LXR agonists (T0901317, GW3965) blunted migration, tubulogenesis, and proliferation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. By affecting endothelial cholesterol homeostasis, LXR activation impaired the compartmentation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 in lipid rafts/caveolae and led to defective phosphorylation and downstream signaling of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 upon vascular endothelial growth factor-A stimulation. Consistently, the antiangiogenic actions of LXR agonists could be prevented by coadministration of exogenous cholesterol. LXR agonists reduced endothelial sprouting from wild-type but not from LXRα−/−/LXRβ−/− knockout aortas and blunted the vascularization of implanted angioreactors in vivo. Furthermore, T0901317 reduced the growth of LLC-1 tumor grafts in mice by impairing angiogenesis.
Conclusion—Pharmacological activation of endothelial LXRs reduces angiogenesis by restraining cholesterol-dependent vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 compartmentation and signaling. Thus, administration of LXR agonists could exert therapeutic effects in pathological conditions characterized by uncontrolled angiogenesis.
- Received December 11, 2011.
- Accepted June 4, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.