IL-37 Is a Novel Proangiogenic Factor of Developmental and Pathological Angiogenesis
Objective—Angiogenesis is tightly controlled by growth factors and cytokines in pathophysiological settings. Interleukin 37 (IL-37) is a newly identified cytokine of the IL-1 family, some members of which are important in inflammation and angiogenesis. However, the function of IL-37 in angiogenesis remains unknown. We aimed to explore the regulatory role of IL-37 in pathological and physiological angiogenesis.
Approach and Results—We found that IL-37 was expressed and secreted in endothelial cells and upregulated under hypoxic conditions. IL-37 enhanced endothelial cell proliferation, capillary formation, migration, and vessel sprouting from aortic rings with potency comparable with that of vascular endothelial growth factor. IL-37 activates survival signals including extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT in endothelial cells. IL-37 promoted vessel growth in implanted Matrigel plug in vivo in a dose-dependent manner with potency comparable with that of basic ﬁbroblast growth factor. In the mouse model of retinal vascular development, neonatal mice administrated with IL-37 displayed increased neovascularization. We demonstrated further that IL-37 promoted pathological angiogenesis in the mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy.
Conclusions—Our findings suggest that IL-37 is a novel and potent proangiogenic cytokine with essential role in pathophysiological settings.
- Received June 21, 2015.
- Accepted September 21, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.