Endothelial smoothened-dependent hedgehog signaling is not required for sonic hedgehog induced angiogenesis or ischemic tissue repair Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Gupta, Rajesh; Mackie, Alexande R; Misener, Sol; Liu, Lijun; Losordo, Douglas W; Kishore, Raj


  • Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling induces neovascularization and angiogenesis. It is not known whether the hedgehog signaling pathway in endothelial cells is essential to angiogenesis. Smoothened (Smo) transduces hedgehog signaling across the cell membrane. This study assessed whether endothelial Smoothened-dependent Shh signaling is required for Shh-mediated angiogenesis and ischemic tissue repair. Endothelial-specific smoothened knockout mice, eSmo were created using Cre-lox recombination system. eSmo mice had no observable phenotype at baseline and showed normal cardiac function. Smoothened in CD31+ cells isolated from eSmo hearts was significantly reduced compared to CD31+ cells from eSmo littermate control hearts. Fluorescence immunostaining of eSmo heart sections showed Smo expression in endothelial cells was abolished. The hind-limb ischemia (HLI) model was used to assess the response to ischemic injury. Perfusion ratio, limb motor function, and limb necrosis were not significantly different after HLI between eSmo mice and eSmo. Capillary densities in the ischemic limb in eSmo mice were also similar to eSmo at 4 weeks after HLI. Next, response to exogenous Shh was assessed in the corneal angiogenesis model. There was no significant difference in corneal angiogenesis induced by administration of Shh pellets between eSmo and eSmo mice. Furthermore, in vitro experiments demonstrated that direct Shh had limited effects on endothelial cell proliferation and migration. However, conditioned media from Shh-treated fibroblasts had a more potent effect on endothelial cell proliferation and migration than non-treated conditioned media. Furthermore, Shh treatment of fibroblasts dramatically stimulated angiogenic growth factor expression, including PDGF-B, VEGF-A, HGF and IGF. PDGF-B was the most upregulated and may contribute to the large neo-vessels associated with Shh-induced angiogenesis. Taken together, these data demonstrate that Shh signaling via Smoothened in endothelial cells is not required for angiogenesis and ischemic tissue repair. Shh signaling via stromal cells likely mediates its angiogenic effects.


publication date

  • 2018

start page

  • 682

end page

  • 691


  • 98