, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 275-285,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 May 2009

Single and combined effects of αvβ3- and α5β1-integrins on capillary tube formation in a human fibrinous matrix


The fibrinous exudate of a wound or tumor stroma facilitates angiogenesis. We studied the involvement of RGD-binding integrins during tube formation in human plasma-derived fibrin clots and human purified fibrin matrices. Capillary-like tube formation by human microvascular endothelial cells in a 3D plasma-derived fibrinous matrix was induced by FGF-2 and TNF-α and depended largely on cell-bound u-PA and plasmin activities. While tube formation was minimally affected by the addition of either the αvβ3-integrin inhibiting mAb LM609 or the α5-integrin inhibiting mAb IIA1, the general RGD-antagonist echistatin completely inhibited this process. Remarkably, when αvβ3- and α5β1-integrins were inhibited simultaneously, tube formation was reduced by 78%. It was accompanied by a 44% reduction of u-PA antigen accumulation and 41% less production of fibrin degradation products. αvβ5-integrin-blocking antibodies further enhanced the inhibition by mAb LM609 and mAb IIA1 to 94%, but had no effect by themselves. αv-specific cRGD only inhibited angiogenesis when α5β1-integrin was simultaneously blocked. Endostatin mimicked the effect of α5β1-integrin and inhibited tube formation only in the presence of LM609 or cRGD (73 and 80%, respectively). Comparable results were obtained when purified fibrin matrices were used instead of the plasma-derived fibrinous matrices. These data show that blocking of tube formation in a fibrinous exudate requires the simultaneous inhibition of αvβ3- and α5β1-integrins. This may bear impact on attempts to influence angiogenesis in a fibrinous environment.