Proangiogenic Properties of Thrombospondin-4
Objective—Thrombospondin-4 (TSP-4) is 1 of the 5 members of the thrombospondin protein family. TSP-1 and TSP-2 are potent antiangiogenic proteins. However, angiogenic properties of the 3 other TSPs, which do not contain the domains associated with the antiangiogeneic activity of TSP-1 and TSP-2, have not been explored. In our previous studies, we found that TSP-4 is expressed in the vascular matrix of blood vessels of various sizes and is especially abundant in capillaries. We sought to identify the function of TSP-4 in the regulation of angiogenesis.
Approach and Results—The effect of TSP-4 in in vivo angiogenesis models and its effect on angiogenesis-related properties in cultured cells were assessed using Thbs4−/− mice, endothelial cells (EC) derived from these mice, and recombinant TSP-4. Angiogenesis was decreased in Thbs4−/− mice compared with wild-type mice. TSP-4 was detected in the lumen of the growing blood vessels. Mice expressing the P387 TSP-4 variant, which was previously associated with coronary artery disease and found to be more active in its cellular interactions, displayed greater angiogenesis compared with A387 form. Lung EC from Thbs4−/− mice exhibited adhesion, migration, and proliferation capacities compared with EC from wild-type mice. Recombinant TSP-4 promoted proliferation and the migration of EC. Integrin α2 and gabapentin receptor α2δ-1 were identified as receptors involved in regulation of EC adhesion, migration, and proliferation by TSP-4.
Conclusion—TSP-4, an extracellular matrix protein previously associated with tissue remodeling, is now demonstrated to possess proangiogenic activity.
- Received November 11, 2014.
- Accepted June 22, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.