Kallistatin Inhibits Endothelial Cell Proliferation, Migration and Adhesion in Vitro and Angiogenesis in the Ischemic Hindlimb of Rats
Kallistatin is a serine proteinase inhibitor (serpin) which has multifunctions including regulation of tissue kallikrein activity, blood pressure, inflammation and neointima hyperplasia. In this study, we investigated the potential role of kallistatin in vascular biology by studying its effects on the proliferation, migration and adhesion of cultured primary human endothelial cells in vitro, and angiogenesis in the ischemic hindlimb of rats. Purified kallistatin significantly inhibits cultured endothelial cell proliferation, migration and adhesion induced by VEGF or bFGF. To further investigate the role of kallistatin in vascular growth in vivo, we prepared adenovirus carrying the human kallistatin gene under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter/enhancer (Ad.CMV-cHKBP). Expression of recombinant human kallistatin in HEK 293 cells transfected with Ad.CMV-cHKBP was identified by a specific ELISA. The effect of adenovirus-mediated kallistatin gene delivery on angiogenesis was evaluated in a rat model of hindlimb ischemia. Adenovirus carrying the human kallistatin or green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene were injected locally into the ischemic adductor at the time of surgery. Histological and morphometric analysis at 14 days post injection showed that adenovirus-mediated kallistatin gene delivery significantly reduced capillary density in the ischemic muscle as compared to that of control rats injected with GFP. The anti-angiogenic effect of kallistatin was associated with reduced regional blood flow in the ischemic hindlimb measured by microsphere assays. Expression of human kallistatin was identified in the injected muscle and immunoreactive human kallistatin levels were measured in the muscle and in the circulation of rats following kallistatin gene delivery. These results demonstrate a novel role of kallistatin in the inhibition of angiogenesis and in vascular remodeling.