Paracrine or virus-mediated induction of decorin expression by endothelial cells contributes to tube formation and prevention of apoptosis in collagen lattices

Schönherr, Elke; O'Connell, Brian C.; Schittny, Johannes; Robenek, Horst; Fastermann, Dirk; Fisher, Larry W.; Plenz, Gabriele; Vischer, Peter; Young, Marian F.; Kresse, Hans (1999). Paracrine or virus-mediated induction of decorin expression by endothelial cells contributes to tube formation and prevention of apoptosis in collagen lattices. European journal of cell biology, 78(1), pp. 44-55. Urban & Fischer 10.1016/S0171-9335(99)80006-5

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Resting endothelial cells express the small proteoglycan biglycan, whereas sprouting endothelial cells also synthesize decorin, a related proteoglycan. Here we show that decorin is expressed in endothelial cells in human granulomatous tissue. For in vitro investigations, the human endothelium-derived cell line, EA.hy 926, was cultured for 6 or more days in the presence of 1% fetal calf serum on top of or within floating collagen lattices which were also populated by a small number of rat fibroblasts. Endothelial cells aligned in cord-like structures and developed cavities that were surrounded by human decorin. About 14% and 20% of endothelial cells became apoptotic after 6 and 12 days of co-culture, respectively. In the absence of fibroblasts, however, the extent of apoptosis was about 60% after 12 days, and cord-like structures were not formed nor could decorin production be induced. This was also the case when lattices populated by EA.hy 926 cells were maintained under one of the following conditions: 1) 10% fetal calf serum; 2) fibroblast-conditioned media; 3) exogenous decorin; or 4) treatment with individual growth factors known to be involved in angiogenesis. The mechanism(s) by which fibroblasts induce an angiogenic phenotype in EA.hy 926 cells is (are) not known, but a causal relationship between decorin expression and endothelial cell phenotype was suggested by transducing human decorin cDNA into EA.hy 926 cells using a replication-deficient adenovirus. When the transduced cells were cultured in collagen lattices, there was no requirement of fibroblasts for the formation of capillary-like structures and apoptosis was reduced. Thus, decorin expression seems to be of special importance for the survival of EA.hy 926 cells as well as for cord and tube formation in this angiogenesis model.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy > Functional Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Schittny, Johannes


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Urban & Fischer




Johannes Schittny

Date Deposited:

25 Aug 2014 11:49

Last Modified:

28 Dec 2014 19:01

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Adenovirus, angiogenesis, EA.hy 926, extracellular matrix, sprouting




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