An In Vitro Platform to Study Reversible Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition

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Abstract

Endothelial cells can acquire a mesenchymal phenotype in response to external stimuli through both mechanical and biological factors, using a process known as endothelial-to-mesenchymal (EndoMT) transition. EndoMT is characterized by the decrease in endothelial characteristics, increase in mesenchymal markers, and morphological changes. It has been recognized not only during development but also in different pathological conditions including organ/tissue fibrosis in adults. The ability to modulate the EndoMT process could have a therapeutic potential in many fibrotic diseases. An in vitro method is presented here to induce EndoMT with Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME) and angiotensin II (Ang II) followed by a protocol to study the reversibility of EndoMT. Using this method, we furnish evidence that the combination of L-NAME and Ang II can stimulate EndoMT in Human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) and this process can be reversed as observed using endothelial functionality assays. This method may serve as a model to screen and identify potential pharmacological molecules to target and regulate the EndoMT process, with applications in drug discovery for human diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number912660
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2022

Keywords

  • L-NAME
  • TGF-β1
  • angiotensin II
  • endothelial cells
  • endothelial functionality
  • endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition
  • reversible EndoMT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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