Identification and partial characterization of angiogenesis bioactivity in the lower respiratory tract after acute lung injury

Craig Henke, Vance Fiegel, Mark Peterson, Mark Wick, David Knighton, James McCarthy, Peter Bitterman

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Survival after acute lung injury (ALI) depends on prompt alveolar repair, a process frequently subverted by the development of granulation tissue within the alveolar airspace. Immunohistochemical examination of the intraalveolar granulation tissue confirmed that capillaries as well as myofibroblasts were the principal cellular constituents. We therefore hypothesized that angiogenesis factors would be present on the air-lung interface after ALI. To evaluate this hypothesis, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from patients with ALI (n = 25) and patient controls (n = 8) was examined for angiogenesis bioactivity by its ability of induce endothelial cell migration. While lavage fluid from controls had no bioactivity, lavage fluid from 72% of patients with ALI promoted endothelial cell migration. Heparin affinity, ion exchange, and gel filtration Chromatography resolved the bioactivity into at least two moieties. One appeared identical to the well characterized endothelial cell growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor. The other was a 150-kD non-heparin binding protein that mediated endothelial cell migration and attachment in vitro, and the growth of new vessels in vivo. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the growth of capillaries into the alveolar airspace results from angiogenesis factors present on the alveolar surface of the lung after ALI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1395
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991


  • Angiogenesis
  • Angiogenesis factors
  • Endothelial cell migration
  • Granulation tissue
  • Lung repair


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