Cardiac microvascular endothelial cells express and release nerve growth factor but not fibroblast growth factor-2

Shimon Lecht, Carola Foerster, Hadar Arien-Zakay, Cezary Marcinkiewicz, Philip Lazarovici*, Peter I. Lelkes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Endothelial cells (ECs) from different vascular beds not only display common characteristics but are also quite heterogeneous in terms of expression and secretion of neuro-angiogenic factors, which may help explain some of their distinct physiological roles. We investigated by RT-PCR the gene expression, by PC12 bioassay the neurotropic activity, and by ELISAs the levels of NGF and FGF-2 using conditioned medium collected from cultures of ECs derived from myocardial and cerebral capillaries. While NGF was expressed and released by both cell types, FGF-2 was expressed and released solely by the brain but not heart ECs. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (ischemic) insult blocked NGF secretion from heart and brain ECs and inhibited by 70% the secretion of FGF-2 from brain ECs. We propose that the differential expression of NGF and FGF-2 in heart and brain EC cultures reflect heterogeneity on demand of the microcapillary components and the surrounding microenvironment for a proper tissue-specific homeostasis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported in part by a grant-in-aid form the Stein Family Foundations (PL and PIL); PL is affiliated and partially supported by the David R. Bloom Center for Pharmacy; and the Dr. Adolf and Klara Brettler Center for Research in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel; SL is supported by "Eshkol" fellowship from the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology.


  • Brain
  • Endothelial heterogeneity
  • FGF-2
  • Heart
  • NGF


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