Ischemia resulting from myocardial infarction (MI) promotes VEGF expression, leading to vascular permeability (VP) and edema, a process that we show here contributes to tissue injury throughout the ventricle. This permeability/edema can be assessed noninvasively by MRI and can be observed at the ultrastructural level as gaps between adjacent endothelial cells. Many of these gaps contain activated platelets adhering to exposed basement membrane, reducing vessel patency. Following MI, genetic or pharmacological blockade of Src preserves endothelial cell barrier function, suppressing VP and infarct volume, providing long-term improvement in cardiac function, fibrosis, and survival. To our surprise, an intravascular injection of VEGF into healthy animals, but not those deficient in Src, induced similar endothelial gaps, VP, platelet plugs, and some myocyte damage. Mechanistically, we show that quiescent blood vessels contain a complex involving Flk, VE-cadherin, and β-catenin that is transiently disrupted by VEGF injection. Blockade of Src prevents disassociation of this complex with the same kinetics with which it prevents VEGF-mediated VP/edema. These findings define a molecular mechanism to account for the Src requirement in VEGF-mediated permeability and provide a basis for Src inhibition as a therapeutic option for patients with acute MI.
Sara Weis, Satoshi Shintani, Alberto Weber, Rudolf Kirchmair, Malcolm Wood, Adrianna Cravens, Heather McSharry, Atsushi Iwakura, Young-sup Yoon, Nathan Himes, Deborah Burstein, John Doukas, Richard Soll, Douglas Losordo, David Cheresh
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.