Toll-Like Receptor 2/6 Agonist Macrophage-Activating Lipopeptide-2 Promotes Reendothelialization and Inhibits Neointima Formation After Vascular Injury
Objective—Reendothelialization after vascular injury (ie, balloon angioplasty or stent implantation) is clinically extremely relevant to promote vascular healing. We here investigated the therapeutic potential of the toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist macrophage-activating lipopeptide (MALP)-2 on reendothelialization and neointima formation in a murine model of vascular injury.
Approach and Results—The left common carotid artery was electrically injured, and reendothelialization was quantified by Evans blue staining after 3 days. A single injection of MALP-2 (1 or 10 µg, IV) after vascular injury accelerated reendothelialization (P<0.001). Proliferation of endothelial cells at the wound margins determined by EdU incorporation was significantly higher in MALP-2–treated animals (P<0.05). Furthermore, wire injury–induced neointima formation of the left common carotid artery was completely prevented by a single injection of MALP-2 (10 µg, IV). In vitro, MALP-2 induced proliferation (BrdU incorporation) and closure of an artificial wound of endothelial cells (P<0.05) but not of smooth muscle cells. Protein array and ELISA analysis of isolated primary endothelial cells and ex vivo stimulated carotid segments revealed that MALP-2 stimulated the release of multiple growth factors and cytokines predominantly from endothelial cells. MALP-2 induced a strong activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade in endothelial cells, which was attenuated in smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, MALP-2 significantly enhanced circulating monocytes and hematopoietic progenitor cells.
Conclusions—The toll-like receptor 2/6 agonist MALP-2 promotes reendothelialization and inhibits neointima formation after experimental vascular injury via enhanced proliferation and migration of endothelial cells. Thus, MALP-2 represents a novel therapeutic option to accelerate reendothelialization after vascular injury.
- Received July 31, 2012.
- Accepted July 3, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.