The role of glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration in the formation and functioning of endothelial tip cells during angiogenesis

Bahar Yetkin-Arik, Ilse M. C. Vogels, Patrycja Nowak-Sliwinska, Andrea Weiss, Riekelt H. Houtkooper, Cornelis J. F. van Noorden, Ingeborg Klaassen, Reinier O. Schlingemann

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During sprouting angiogenesis, an individual endothelial tip cell grows out from a pre-existing vascular network and guides following and proliferating stalk cells to form a new vessel. Metabolic pathways such as glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration as the major sources of adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) for energy production are differentially activated in these types of endothelial cells (ECs) during angiogenesis. Therefore, we studied energy metabolism during angiogenesis in more detail in tip cell and non-tip cell human umbilical vein ECs. Small interfering RNA was used to inhibit transcription of glycolytic enzymes PFKFB3 or LDHA and mitochondrial enzyme PDHA1 to test whether inhibition of these specific pathways affects tip cell differentiation and sprouting angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. We show that glycolysis is essential for tip cell differentiation, whereas both glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration occur during proliferation of non-tip cells and in sprouting angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we demonstrate that inhibition of mitochondrial respiration causes adaptation of EC metabolism by increasing glycolysis and vice versa. In conclusion, our studies show a complex but flexible role of the different metabolic pathways to produce ATP in the regulation of tip cell and non-tip cell differentiation and functioning during sprouting angiogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12608
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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