Vascular remodeling alters adhesion protein and cytoskeleton reactions to inflammatory stimuli resulting in enhanced permeability increases in rat venules

Dong Yuan, Pingnian He

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17 Scopus citations


Vascular remodeling has been implicated in many inflammation-involved diseases. This study aims to investigate the microvascular remodelingassociated alterations in cell-cell adhesion and cytoskeleton reactions to inflammatory stimuli and their impact on microvessel permeability. Experiments were conducted in individually perfused rat mesenteric venules. Microvessel permeability was determined by measuring hydraulic conductivity (Lp), and endothelial intracellular calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, was measured in fura-2-perfused vessels. Alterations in VE-cadherin and F-actin arrangement were examined by confocal imaging. Vascular wall cellular composition and structural changes were evaluated by electron microscopy. Vessels exposed to platelet activating factor (PAF) on day 1 were reevaluated 3 days later in rats that had undergone survival surgery. Initial PAF exposure and surgical disturbance increased microvascular wall thickness along with perivascular cell proliferation and altered F-actin arrangement. Although basal permeability was not changed, upon reexposure to PAF, peak endothelial [Ca2+] i was augmented and the peak Lp was 9.3 ± 1.7 times higher than that of day 1. In contrast to patterns of PAF-induced stress fiber formation and VE-cadherin redistribution observed in day 1 vessels, the day 4 vessels at the potentiated Lp peak exhibited wide separations of VE-cadherin between endothelial cells and striking stress fibers throughout the vascular walls. Confocal images and ultrastructural micrographs also revealed that the largely separated VE-cadherin and endothelial gaps were completely covered by F-actin bundles in extended pericyte processes at the PAF-induced Lp peak. These results indicate that inflammation-induced vascular remodeling increased endothelial susceptibility to inflammatory stimuli with augmented Ca 2+ response resulting in upregulated contractility and potentiated permeability increase. Weakened adhesions between the endothelial cells and contractile mechanisms are both involved in increasing permeability in the intact microvessels and are aggravated during remodeling. The perivascular cells play important roles in stabilizing the microvessel wall, while lessening an otherwise much greater magnitude of leakage during cytoskeletal contraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1120
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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