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Reduced endothelial secretion and plasma levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1

Kumar, Shant and Letarte, M. and McDonald, M. L. and Li, Chenggang (2005) Reduced endothelial secretion and plasma levels of transforming growth factor-beta1 in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1. Cardiovascular Research, 68 (1). pp. 155-164. ISSN 0008-6363

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Abstract

Objective: To determine if patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) show alterations in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and its pathways. Methods: Blood samples were obtained from HHT patients and controls, while endothelial cells were derived from umbilical veins of newborns (HUVEC) from HHT families. TGF-β1 in plasma, or secreted by HUVEC, and plasma endoglin levels were measured by ELISA. Cellular levels of endoglin and receptor Smad proteins were tested by metabolic labeling and immunoprecipitation, mRNA levels for endoglin and TGF-β1 by real-time PCR, and receptor Smad phosphorylation by Western blotting. Results: TGF-β1 and endoglin plasma levels analyzed in 197 individuals showed an inverse correlation with age. Circulating levels of TGF-β1 were reduced in HHT1 patients (with Endoglin mutations) compared to control, but not in HHT2 patients (with ALK1 mutations). Endoglin levels were unchanged in plasma but decreased in activated monocytes and HUVEC with an HHT1 genotype. These HUVEC also expressed reduced levels of endoglin and TGF-β1 mRNA, secreted less TGF-β1, and showed normal receptor Smad expression and phosphorylation. Conclusions: Decreased plasma TGF-β1 levels in HHT1 patients correlate with reduced production by endothelial cells. The lower endoglin expression in these cells may alter the regulation of TGF-β1 via Smad-independent pathways.

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