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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) and BMP10 enhance tumor necrosis factor-α-induced monocyte recruitment to the vascular endothelium mainly via activin receptor-like kinase 2.


Bone morphogenetic proteins 9 and 10 (BMP9/BMP10) are circulating cytokines with important roles in endothelial homeostasis. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of BMP9 and BMP10 in mediating monocyte-endothelial interactions using an in vitro flow adhesion assay. Herein, we report that whereas BMP9/BMP10 alone had no effect on monocyte recruitment, at higher concentrations both cytokines synergized with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) to increase recruitment to the vascular endothelium. The BMP9/BMP10-mediated increase in monocyte recruitment in the presence of TNFα was associated with up-regulated expression levels of E-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1), and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on endothelial cells. Using siRNAs to type I and II BMP receptors and the signaling intermediaries (Smads), we demonstrated a key role for ALK2 in the BMP9/BMP10-induced surface expression of E-selectin, and both ALK1 and ALK2 in the up-regulation of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1. The type II receptors, BMPR-II and ACTR-IIA were both required for this response, as was Smad1/5. The up-regulation of cell surface adhesion molecules by BMP9/10 in the presence of TNFα was inhibited by LDN193189, which inhibits ALK2 but not ALK1. Furthermore, LDN193189 inhibited monocyte recruitment induced by TNFα and BMP9/10. BMP9/10 increased basal IκBα protein expression, but did not alter p65/RelA levels. Our findings suggest that higher concentrations of BMP9/BMP10 synergize with TNFα to induce the up-regulation of endothelial selectins and adhesion molecules, ultimately resulting in increased monocyte recruitment to the vascular endothelium. This process is mediated mainly via the ALK2 type I receptor, BMPR-II/ACTR-IIA type II receptors, and downstream Smad1/5 signaling.

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