Endothelial autocrine signaling through cxcl12/cxcr4/foxm1 axis contributes to severe pulmonary arterial hypertension

Dan Yi, Bin Liu, Ting Wang, Qi Liao, Maggie M. Zhu, You Yang Zhao, Zhiyu Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Endothelial autocrine signaling is essential to maintain vascular homeostasis. There is limited information about the role of endothelial autocrine signaling in regulating severe pulmonary vascular remodeling during the onset of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In this study, we employed the first severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) mouse model, Egln1Tie2Cre (Tie2Cre-mediated disruption of Egln1) mice, to identify the novel autocrine signaling mediating the pulmonary vascular endothelial cell (PVEC) proliferation and the pathogenesis of PAH. PVECs isolated from Egln1Tie2Cre lung expressed upregulation of many growth factors or angiocrine factors such as CXCL12, and exhibited pro-proliferative phenotype coincident with the upregulation of proliferation-specific transcriptional factor FoxM1. Treatment of CXCL12 on PVECs increased FoxM1 expression, which was blocked by CXCL12 receptor CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 in cultured human PVECs. The endothelial specific deletion of Cxcl12 (Egln1/Cxcl12Tie2Cre) or AMD3100 treatment in Egln1Tie2Cre mice downregulated FoxM1 expression in vivo. We then generated and characterized a novel mouse model with endothelial specific FoxM1 deletion in Egln1Tie2Cre mice (Egln1/Foxm1Tie2Cre), and found that endothelial FoxM1 deletion reduced pulmonary vascular remodeling and right ventricular systolic pressure. Together, our study identified a novel mechanism of endothelial autocrine signaling in regulating PVEC proliferation and pulmonary vascular remodeling in PAH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3182
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2 2021


  • Angiogenesis
  • Endothelium
  • Hypoxia
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Vascular remodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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