The aortic ring model of angiogenesis: a quarter century of search and discovery
- R F Nicosia
- Journal of cellular and molecular medicine
Aortic explants were obtained from mouse fetuses and cultured in collagen gels. Immuno-fluorescence microscopy, antibodies (anti alpha1, alpha2 and alpha3 integrin subunits) were used. Fibroblastic cells migrated from the aortic explant after one day of cultivation. The migrating cells located in the peripheral part of the aortic explant were positive for alpha1 and alpha2 integrin subunit antibodies. Immuno-fluorescence-positive staining for the alpha3 integrin subunit antibody was clearly seen in the migrating cells located near the aortic explant and surrounding tube-like structures. In an immuno-electron microscope study performed by pre-embedding immuno labeling, gold particles associated with the alpha3 integrin subunit were found to reside on the membranes of the cells surrounding the capillary-like tubes. Two synthetic peptides, GRGDSP (Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-Pro) and KDGEA (Lys-Asp-Gly-Glu-Ala), were added to the growth medium to study their effects on cell migration. KDGEA, a compound containing the recognition sequence for alpha2beta1 integrin, decreased cell migration, while GRGDSP exhibited no effect. The migration of fibroblastic cells is an important phenomenon for tube formation. The present study suggested that the alpha1 and alpha2 integrin subunits are both involved in the cell migration, and more specifically, that the alpha2 integrin subunit participates in cell migration through the KDGEA sequence. The alpha3 integrin subunit played a role in tube formation.