Resident Endothelial Cells and Endothelial Progenitor Cells Restore Endothelial Barrier Function After Inflammatory Lung Injury
Objective—Disruption of endothelial barrier integrity is a characteristic of many inflammatory conditions. However, the origin and function of endothelial cells (ECs) restoring endothelial barrier function remain unknown. This study defined the roles of resident ECs (RECs) and bone marrow–derived endothelial progenitor cells (BMDEPCs) in endothelial barrier restoration after endotoxemic lung injury.
Approach and Results—We generated mice that enable to quantify proliferating RECs or BMDEPCs and also to study the causal link between REC or BMDEPC proliferation and endothelial barrier restoration. Using these mouse models, we showed that endothelial barrier restoration was associated with increased REC and BMDEPC proliferation. RECs and BMDEPCs participate in barrier repair. Immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that RECs proliferate in situ on endothelial layer and that BMDEPCs are engrafted into endothelial layer of lung microvessels at the active barrier repair phase. In lungs, 8 weeks after lipopolysaccharide-induced injury, the number of REC-derived ECs (CD45−/CD31+/BrdU+/rtTA+) or BMDEPC-derived ECs (CD45−/CD31+/eNOS+/GFP+) increased by 22- or 121-fold, respectively. The suppression of REC or BMDEPC proliferation by blocking REC or BMDEPC intrinsic nuclear factor-κB at the barrier repair phase was associated with an augmented endothelial permeability and impeded endothelial barrier recovery. RECs and BMDEPCs contributed differently to endothelial barrier repair. In lungs, 8 weeks after lipopolysaccharide-induced injury, REC-derived ECs constituted 22%, but BMDEPC-derived ECs constituted only 3.7% of the total new ECs.
Conclusions—REC is a major and BMDEPC is a complementary source of new ECs in endothelial barrier restoration. RECs and BMDEPCs play important roles in endothelial barrier restoration after inflammatory lung injury.
- Received June 24, 2014.
- Accepted April 29, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.