Reduced TIMP-2 in hypoxia enhances angiogenesis

Nitza Lahat, Haim Bitterman, Miri Engelmayer-Goren, Doron Rosenzweig, Lea Weiss-Cerem, Michal A. Rahat


Hypoxia, which characterizes ischemia, trauma, inflammation, and solid tumors, recruits monocytes, immobilizes them, and alters their function, leading to an anti-inflammatory and proangiogenic phenotype. Monocyte extravasation from the circulation and their migration in tissues are partially mediated by the balance between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMPs). The mechanisms evoked by hypoxia that regulate monocyte migration and activation are not entirely clear. Specifically, the effect of hypoxia on TIMPs in these cells has hardly been investigated. We show that hypoxia reduces TIMP-2 secretion from human primary monocytes and from the monocyte-like cell lines U937 and THP-1 by three- to fourfold (P < 0.01), by inhibiting TIMP-2 transcription through mechanisms that involve the transcription factor SP-1. Hypoxia also lowers TIMP-2 protein secretion from human endothelial cells (by 2-fold, P < 0.05). TIMP-2 levels do not influence the reduced migration of THP-1 cells in hypoxia; however, low TIMP-2 levels enhance endothelial cell migration/proliferation, their ability to form tubelike structures in vitro, and the appearance of mature blood vessels in a Matrigel plug assay in vivo. Thus we conclude that reduced TIMP-2 levels secreted from both hypoxic monocytes and endothelial cells are proangiogenic.

  • human
  • low oxygen tension
  • monocytes
  • inflammation


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