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Differential response of lymphatic, venous and arterial endothelial cells to angiopoietin-1 and angiopoietin-2

Vicky PKH Nguyen12, Stephen H Chen12, Jason Trinh1, Harold Kim1, Brenda L Coomber3 and Daniel J Dumont1245*

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular and Cellular Biology Research, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada

2 Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, ON, Canada

3 Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

4 Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

5 R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada

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BMC Cell Biology 2007, 8:10  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-8-10

Published: 6 March 2007



The lymphatic system complements the blood circulatory system in absorption and transport of nutrients, and in the maintenance of homeostasis. Angiopoietins 1 and 2 (Ang1 and Ang2) are regulators of both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis through the Tek/Tie-2 receptor tyrosine kinase. The response of endothelial cells to stimulation with either Ang1 or Ang2 is thought to be dependent upon the origin of the endothelial cells. In this study, we examined the effects of the angiopoietins on lymphatic, venous and arterial primary endothelial cells (bmLEC, bmVEC and bmAEC, respectively), which were isolated and cultured from bovine mesenteric vessels.


BmLEC, bmVEC and bmAEC cell populations all express Tie-2 and were shown to express the appropriate cellular markers Prox-1, VEGFR3, and Neuropilin-1 that define the particular origin of each preparation. We showed that while bmLECs responded slightly more readily to angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) stimulation, bmVECs and bmAECs were more sensitive to Ang1 stimulation. Furthermore, exposure of bmLECs to Ang2 induced marginally higher levels of proliferation and survival than did exposure to Ang1. However, exposure to Ang1 resulted in higher levels of migration in bmLECs than did to Ang2.


Our results suggest that although both Ang1 and Ang2 can activate the Tie-2 receptor in bmLECs, Ang1 and Ang2 may have distinct roles in mesenteric lymphatic endothelial cells.