We have previously shown that monocytes adhere to the vascular wall during collateral vessel growth (arteriogenesis) and capillary sprouting (angiogenesis). In this study we investigated the association of monocyte accumulation with both the production of the cytokines-basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and TNF-alpha-and vessel proliferation in the rabbit after femoral artery occlusion. In particular, we studied the effects of an increase in monocyte recruitment by LPS on capillary density as well as collateral and peripheral conductance after 7 d of occlusion. Monocytes accumulated around day 3 in collateral arteries when maximal proliferation was observed, and stained strongly for bFGF and TNF-alpha. In the lower limb where angiogenesis was shown to be predominant, macrophage accumulation was also closely associated with maximal proliferation (around day 7). LPS treatment significantly increased capillary density (424+/-26.1 n/mm2 vs. 312+/-20.7 n/mm2; P < 0.05) and peripheral conductance (109+/-33.8 ml/min/100 mmHg vs. 45+/-6.8 ml/min/100 mmHg; P < 0.05) as compared with untreated animals after 7 d of occlusion. These results indicate that monocyte activation plays a major role in angiogenesis and collateral artery growth.
M Arras, W D Ito, D Scholz, B Winkler, J Schaper, W Schaper