Age-associated downregulation of vasohibin-1 in vascular endothelial cells

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) is an angiogenesis-inhibiting factor synthesized by endothelial cells (ECs) and it also functions to increase stress tolerance of ECs, which function is critical for the maintenance of vascular integrity. Here, we examined whether the expression of VASH1 would be affected by aging. We passaged human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and observed that VASH1 was downregulated in old HUVECs. This decrease in VASH1 expression with aging was confirmed in mice. To explore the mechanism of this downregulation, we compared the expression of microRNAs between old and young HUVECs by performing microarray analysis. Among the top 20 microRNAs that were expressed at a higher level in old HUVECs, the third highest microRNA, namely miR-22-3p, had its binding site on the 3′ UTR of VASH1 mRNA. Experiments with microRNA mimic and anti-miR revealed that miR-22-3p was involved at least in part in the downregulation of VASH1 in ECs during replicative senescence. We then clarified the significance of this defective expression of VASH1 in the vasculature. When a cuff was placed around the femoral arteries of wild-type mice and VASH1-null mice, neointimal formation was augmented in the VASH1-null mice accompanied by an increase in adventitial angiogenesis, macrophage accumulation in the adventitia, and medial/neointimal proliferating cells. These results indicate that in replicative senescence, the downregulation of VASH1 expression in ECs was caused, at least in part, by the alteration of microRNA expression. Such downregulation of VASH1 might be involved in the acceleration of age-associated vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
JournalAging Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1


  • aging
  • angiogenesis
  • endothelial cell
  • replicative senescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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