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An endothelial TLR4-VEGFR2 pathway mediates lung protection against oxidant-induced injury

, : An endothelial TLR4-VEGFR2 pathway mediates lung protection against oxidant-induced injury. Faseb Journal 30(3): 1317-1327

TLR4 deficiency causes hypersusceptibility to oxidant-induced injury. We investigated the role of TLR4 in lung protection, using used bone marrow chimeras; cell-specific transgenic modeling; and lentiviral delivery in vivo to knock down or express TLR4 in various lung compartments; and lung-specific VEGF transgenic mice to investigate the effect of TLR4 on VEGF-mediated protection. C57/BL6 mice were exposed to 100% oxygen in an enclosed chamber and assessed for survival and lung injury. Primary endothelial cells were stimulated with recombinant VEGF and exposed to hyperoxia or hydrogen peroxide. Endothelium-specific expression of human TLR4 (as opposed to its expression in epithelium or immune cells) increased the survival of TLR4-deficent mice in hyperoxia by 24 h and decreased LDH release and lung cell apoptosis after 72 h of exposure by 30%. TLR4 expression was necessary and sufficient for the protective effect of VEGF in the lungs and in primary endothelial cells in culture. TLR4 knockdown inhibited VEGF signaling through VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), Akt, and ERK pathways in lungs and primary endothelial cells and decreased the availability of VEGFR2 at the cell surface. These findings demonstrate a novel mechanism through which TLR4, an innate pattern receptor, interacts with an endothelial survival pathway.


PMID: 26655705

DOI: 10.1096/fj.15-275024

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