B7-H3 modulates endothelial cell angiogenesis through the VEGF cytokine
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B7-H3 is a cell surface molecule in the immunoglobulin superfamily that has been shown to perform both immunological and non-immunological functions. It has also been found that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important molecule in the modulation of endothelial cell behavior. In this study, we analyzed the serum expression of B7-H3 in 113 rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematous patients using the ELISA and found a positive correlation between B7-H3 and VEGF. Next, we investigated the involvement of B7-H3 in angiogenesis using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with transient knockdown of B7-H3 and an in vivo Matrigel model. Data from the in vitro experiments showed that B7-H3 increased cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation, and correlated with the expression of VEGF. Furthermore, B7-H3 affected the formation of functional vascular networks in Matrigel plugs, which were dissected from mice injected with different HUVECs. Our data suggest that B7-H3 promotes angiogenesis through the enhancement of VEGF secretion. This is the first study proposing a significant role for B7-H3 in the promotion of angiogenesis and may provide further understanding of this gene’s biological function.
KeywordsB7-H3 Costimulatory molecule VEGF Angiogenesis
This work was supported by grants from the Jiangsu Province University Outstanding Science and Technology Innovation Team (Grant no. 2015023), Qinglan Project (Sunjing, Sunzhongwen), and Jiangsu Provincial Medical Talent (Sunjing). The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
All experiments were approved by the Ethics Review Board of Suzhou Vocational Health College, and written informed consent was obtained from each blood donor.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.