Natural inhibitors of angiogenesis are able to block pathological neovascularization without harming the preexisting vasculature. Here we show that two such inhibitors, thrombospondin-1 and pigment epithelium-derived factor, derive specificity for remodeling vessels from their dependence on Fas/Fas ligand (FasL)-mediated apoptosis to block angiogenesis. Both inhibitors upregulated FasL on endothelial cells. Expression of the essential partner of FasL, Fas/CD95 receptor, was low on quiescent endothelial cells and vessels but greatly enhanced by inducers of angiogenesis, thereby specifically sensitizing the stimulated cells to apoptosis by inhibitor-generated FasL. The anti-angiogenic activity of thrombospondin-1 and pigment epithelium-derived factor both in vitro and in vivo was dependent on this dual induction of Fas and FasL and the resulting apoptosis. This example of cooperation between pro- and anti-angiogenic factors in the inhibition of angiogenesis provides one explanation for the ability of inhibitors to select remodeling capillaries for destruction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)