In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (9)
- American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology
- Frontiers in Physiology
- PloS One
- Integrative Biology : Quantitative Biosciences from Nano to Macro
- Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994)
- Journal of Cellular Physiology
- Physiological Reports
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
- American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Articles by Mohammad S. Azimi in JoVE
Other articles by Mohammad S. Azimi on PubMed
An Angiogenesis Model for Investigating Multicellular Interactions Across Intact Microvascular Networks American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Jan, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23125212 Developing therapies aimed at manipulating microvascular remodeling requires a better understanding of angiogenesis and how angiogenesis relates to other network remodeling processes, such as lymphangiogenesis and neurogenesis. The objective of this study was to develop an angiogenesis model that enables probing of multicellular and multisystem interactions at the molecular level across an intact adult microvascular network. Adult male Wistar rat mesenteric windows were aseptically harvested and cultured in serum-free minimum essential media. Viability/cytotoxicity analysis revealed that cells remain alive for at least 7 days. Immunohistochemical labeling at 3 days for platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM), neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2), lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1), and class III β-tubulin identified endothelial cells, pericytes, lymphatics, and nerves, respectively. Media supplemented with bFGF or VEGF induced an increase in endothelial cell sprouting off existing vessels. Endothelial cell sprouting in both growth factor groups was inhibited by targeting pericytes with NG2 functional blocking antibody. VEGF caused an increase in the number of lymphatic/blood endothelial cell connections compared with media alone or bFGF groups. Finally, the comparison of the same network before and after angiogenesis stimulated by the supplement of media with 20% serum identified the ability of disconnected endothelial segments to reconnect to nearby vessels. The results establish a novel in situ angiogenesis model for investigating the location of capillary sprouting within an intact network, the role of pericytes, lymphatic/blood endothelial cell interactions, and the fate of specific endothelial cell segments. The rat mesentery culture system offers a unique tool for understanding the complex dynamics associated with angiogenesis in an intact adult tissue.
Vascular Islands During Microvascular Regression and Regrowth in Adult Networks Frontiers in Physiology. 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23720632 Angiogenesis is the growth of new vessels from pre-existing vessels and commonly associated with two modes: capillary sprouting and capillary splitting. Previous work by our laboratory suggests vascular island incorporation might be another endothelial cell dynamic involved in microvascular remodeling. Vascular islands are defined as endothelial cell segments disconnected from nearby networks, but their origin remains unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether vascular islands associated with microvascular regression are involved in network regrowth.
An Ex Vivo Model for Anti-angiogenic Drug Testing on Intact Microvascular Networks PloS One. 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25742654 New models of angiogenesis that mimic the complexity of real microvascular networks are needed. Recently, our laboratory demonstrated that cultured rat mesentery tissues contain viable microvascular networks and could be used to probe pericyte-endothelial cell interactions. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of the rat mesentery culture model for anti-angiogenic drug testing by time-lapse quantification of network growth. Mesenteric windows were harvested from adult rats, secured in place with an insert, and cultured for 3 days according to 3 experimental groups: 1) 10% serum (angiogenesis control), 2) 10% serum + sunitinib (SU11248), and 3) 10% serum + bevacizumab. Labeling with FITC conjugated BSI-lectin on Day 0 and 3 identified endothelial cells along blood and lymphatic microvascular networks. Comparison between day 0 (before) and 3 (after) in networks stimulated by 10% serum demonstrated a dramatic increase in vascular density and capillary sprouting. Growing networks contained proliferating endothelial cells and NG2+ vascular pericytes. Media supplementation with sunitinib (SU11248) or bevacizumab both inhibited the network angiogenic responses. The comparison of the same networks before and after treatment enabled the identification of tissue specific responses. Our results establish, for the first time, the ability to evaluate an anti-angiogenic drug based on time-lapse imaging on an intact microvascular network in an ex vivo scenario.
Printing Cancer Cells into Intact Microvascular Networks: a Model for Investigating Cancer Cell Dynamics During Angiogenesis Integrative Biology : Quantitative Biosciences from Nano to Macro. Sep, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 26190039 While cancer cell invasion and metastasis are dependent on cancer cell-stroma, cancer cell-blood vessel, and cancer cell-lymphatic vessel interactions, our understanding of these interactions remain largely unknown. A need exists for physiologically-relevant models that more closely mimic the complexity of cancer cell dynamics in a real tissue environment. The objective of this study was to combine laser-based cell printing and tissue culture methods to create a novel ex vivo model in which cancer cell dynamics can be tracked during angiogenesis in an intact microvascular network. Laser direct-write (LDW) was utilized to reproducibly deposit breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) and fibroblasts into spatially-defined patterns on cultured rat mesenteric tissues. In addition, heterogeneous patterns containing co-printed MDA-MB-231/fibroblasts or MDA-MB-231/MCF-7 cells were generated for fibroblast-directed and collective cell invasion models. Printed cells remained viable and the cells retained the ability to proliferate in serum-rich media conditions. Over a culture period of five days, time-lapse imaging confirmed fibroblast and MDA-MB-231 cell migration within the microvascular networks. Confocal microscopy indicated that printed MDA-MB-231 cells infiltrated the tissue thickness and were capable of interacting with endothelial cells. Angiogenic network growth in tissue areas containing printed cancer cells was characterized by significantly increased capillary sprouting compared to control tissue areas containing no printed cells. Our results establish an innovative ex vivo experimental platform that enables time-lapse evaluation of cancer cell dynamics during angiogenesis within a real microvascular network scenario.
Macrophages: An Inflammatory Link Between Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994). Feb, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 26614117 Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis often occur in response to tissue injury or in the presence of pathology (e.g., cancer), and it is these types of environments in which macrophages are activated and increased in number. Moreover, the blood vascular microcirculation and the lymphatic circulation serve as the conduits for entry and exit for monocyte-derived macrophages in nearly every tissue and organ. Macrophages both affect and are affected by the vessels through which they travel. Therefore, it is not surprising that examination of macrophage behaviors in both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis has yielded interesting observations that suggest macrophages may be key regulators of these complex growth and remodeling processes. In this review, we will take a closer look at macrophages through the lens of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, examining how their dynamic behaviors may regulate vessel sprouting and function. We present macrophages as a cellular link that spatially and temporally connects angiogenesis with lymphangiogenesis, in both physiological growth and in pathological adaptations, such as tumorigenesis. As such, attempts to therapeutically target macrophages in order to affect these processes may be particularly effective, and studying macrophages in both settings will accelerate the field's understanding of this important cell type in health and disease.
Laser Direct-Write Onto Live Tissues: A Novel Model for Studying Cancer Cell Migration Journal of Cellular Physiology. Nov, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 26923437 Investigation into the mechanisms driving cancer cell behavior and the subsequent development of novel targeted therapeutics requires comprehensive experimental models that mimic the complexity of the tumor microenvironment. Recently, our laboratories have combined a novel tissue culture model and laser direct-write, a form of bioprinting, to spatially position single or clustered cancer cells onto ex vivo microvascular networks containing blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and interstitial cell populations. Herein, we highlight this new model as a tool for quantifying cancer cell motility and effects on angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in an intact network that matches the complexity of a real tissue. Application of our proposed methodology offers an innovative ex vivo tissue perspective for evaluating the effects of gene expression and targeted molecular therapies on cancer cell migration and invasion. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2333-2338, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lysophosphatidic Acid Does Not Cause Blood/lymphatic Vessel Plasticity in the Rat Mesentery Culture Model Physiological Reports. Jul, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27401461 Understanding the mechanisms behind endothelial cell identity is crucial for the goal of manipulating microvascular networks. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and serum stimulation have been suggested to induce a lymphatic identity in blood endothelial cells in vitro. The objective of this study was to determine if LPA or serum induces blood-to-lymphatic vessel phenotypic transition in microvascular networks. The rat mesentery culture model was used to observe the effect of stimulation on blood and lymphatic microvascular networks ex vivo. Vascularized mesenteric tissues were harvested from adult Wistar rats and cultured with LPA or 10% serum for up to 5 days. Tissues were then immunolabeled with PECAM to identify blood vessels and LYVE-1 or Prox1 to identify lymphatic vessels. We show that while LPA caused capillary sprouting and increased vascular length density in adult microvascular networks, LPA did not cause a blood-to-lymphatic phenotypic transition. The results suggest that LPA is not sufficient to cause blood endothelial cells to adopt a lymphatic identity in adult microvascular networks. Similarly, serum stimulation caused robust angiogenesis and increased lymphatic/blood vessel connections, yet did not induce a blood-to-lymphatic phenotypic transition. Our study highlights an understudied area of lymphatic research and warrants future investigation into the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of blood and lymphatic vessel identity.
An Ex Vivo Tissue Culture Model for Anti-angiogenic Drug Testing Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27858358 Angiogenesis, defined as the growth of new blood vessels from existing ones, plays a key role in development, growth, and tissue repair. Its necessary role in tumor growth and metastasis has led to the creation of a new category of anti-angiogenic cancer therapies. Preclinical development and evaluation of potential drug candidates require models that mimic real microvascular networks. Here, we describe the rat mesentery culture model as a simple ex vivo assay that offers time-lapse imaging of intact microvascular network remodeling and demonstrate its application for anti-angiogenic drug testing.
Aging is Associated with Impaired Angiogenesis, but Normal Microvascular Network Structure, in the Rat Mesentery American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Feb, 2017 | Pubmed ID: 27864233 A big problem associated with aging is thought to be impaired microvascular growth or angiogenesis. However, to link the evidence for impaired angiogenesis to microvascular dysfunction in aged tissues, we must compare adult vs. aged microvascular networks in unstimulated scenarios. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that aged microvascular networks are characterized by both fewer vessels and the impaired ability to undergo angiogenesis. Mesentery tissues from adult (9-mo) and aged (24-mo) male Fischer 344 rats were harvested and immunolabeled for platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule (an endothelial cell marker) according to two scenarios: unstimulated and stimulated. For unstimulated groups, tissues harvested from adult and aged rats were compared. For stimulated groups, tissues were harvested 3 or 10 days after compound 48/80-induced mast cell degranulation stimulation. Unstimulated aged microvascular networks displayed larger mean vascular area per tissue area compared with the unstimulated adult networks. The lack of a decrease in vessel density was supported at the gene expression level with RNA-Seq analysis and with comparison of vessel densities in soleus muscle. Following stimulation, capillary sprouting and vessel density were impaired in aged networks at 3 and 10 days, respectively. Our results suggest that aging associated with impaired angiogenesis mechanisms might not influence normal microvascular function, since unstimulated aged microvascular networks can display a "normal adult-like" vessel density and architecture.