Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, is essential for both normal development and numerous pathologies. Systems biology has offered a unique approach to study angiogenesis by profiling tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) that regulate angiogenic processes and computationally modeling RTK signaling pathways. Historically, this systems biology approach has been applied on ex vivo angiogenesis assays, however, these assays are difficult to quantify and limited in their potential of temporal analysis. In this study, we adopted a simple two-dimensional angiogenesis assay comprised of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) and examined temporal dynamics of a panel of six RTKs and cell heterogeneity up to 17 days. We observed ~2700 VEGFR1 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1) per cell on 24-h-old cocultured HDF plasma membranes, which do not express VEGFR when cultured alone. We observed 4000–8100 VEGFR2 per cell on cocultured HUVEC plasma membranes throughout endothelial tube formation. We showed steady increase of platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFRs) on cocultured HDF plasma membranes, and more interestingly, 1900–2900 PDGFRβ per plasma membrane were found on HUVECs within the first six hours of coculturing. These quantitative findings will offer us insights into molecular regulation during angiogenesis and help assess in vitro tube formation models and their physiological relevance.
- Endothelial tube formation
- QFlow cytometry
- Tyrosine kinase receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Process Chemistry and Technology