Modulation of angiopoietin-2 and Tie2: Organ specific effects of microvascular leakage and edema in mice

Anoek L I van Leeuwen, Nicole A M Dekker, Roselique Ibelings, Anita M Tuip-de Boer, Matijs van Meurs, Grietje Molema, Charissa E van den Brom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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INTRODUCTION: Critical illness is associated with organ failure, in which endothelial hyperpermeability and tissue edema play a major role. The endothelial angiopoietin/Tie2 system, a regulator of endothelial permeability, is dysbalanced during critical illness. Elevated circulating angiopoietin-2 and decreased Tie2 receptor levels are reported, but it remains unclear whether they cause edema independent of other critical illness-associated alterations. Therefore, we have studied the effect of angiopoietin-2 administration and/or reduced Tie2 expression on microvascular leakage and edema under normal conditions.

METHODS: Transgenic male mice with partial deletion of Tie2 (heterozygous exon 9 deletion, Tie2 +/-) and wild-type controls (Tie2 +/+) received 24 or 72 pg/g angiopoietin-2 or PBS as control (n = 12 per group) intravenously. Microvascular leakage and edema were determined by Evans blue dye (EBD) extravasation and wet-to-dry weight ratio, respectively, in lungs and kidneys. Expression of molecules related to endothelial angiopoietin/Tie2 signaling were determined by ELISA and RT-qPCR.

RESULTS: In Tie2 +/+ mice, angiopoietin-2 administration increased EBD extravasation (154 %, p < 0.05) and wet-to-dry weight ratio (133 %, p < 0.01) in lungs, but not in the kidney compared to PBS. Tie2 +/- mice had higher pulmonary (143 %, p < 0.001), but not renal EBD extravasation, compared to wild-type control mice, whereas a more pronounced wet-to-dry weight ratio was observed in lungs (155 %, p < 0.0001), in contrast to a minor higher wet-to-dry weight ratio in kidneys (106 %, p < 0.05). Angiopoietin-2 administration to Tie2 +/- mice did not further increase pulmonary EBD extravasation, pulmonary wet-to-dry weight ratio, or renal wet-to-dry weight ratio. Interestingly, angiopoietin-2 administration resulted in an increased renal EBD extravasation in Tie2 +/- mice compared to Tie2 +/- mice receiving PBS. Both angiopoietin-2 administration and partial deletion of Tie2 did not affect circulating angiopoietin-1, soluble Tie2, VEGF and NGAL as well as gene expression of angiopoietin-1, -2, Tie1, VE-PTP, ELF-1, Ets-1, KLF2, GATA3, MMP14, Runx1, VE-cadherin, VEGFα and NGAL, except for gene and protein expression of Tie2, which was decreased in Tie2 +/- mice compared to Tie2 +/+ mice.

CONCLUSIONS: In mice, the microvasculature of the lungs is more vulnerable to angiopoietin-2 and partial deletion of Tie2 compared to those in the kidneys with respect to microvascular leakage and edema.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104694
Number of pages12
JournalMicrovascular research
Early online date8-May-2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2024


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