In vitro and In vivo imaging of antivasculogenesis induced by Noggin protein expression in human venous endothelial cells

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2; Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4; Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors; Carrier Proteins; Cell Movement; Cell Proliferation; Cells, Cultured; Endothelial Cells; Humans; Mice; Neovascularization, Physiologic; Umbilical Veins


Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Cell Biology | Cells | Investigative Techniques | Radiology


Noggin protein is a potent bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist capable of inhibiting vasculogenesis even in the presence of provasculogenic VEGF and FGF-2. We found that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) do not express Noggin in culture and used these cells for modeling of antivasculogenesis. We hypothesized that high-efficiency transduction of HUVECs with bicistronic lentiviral vector encoding Noggin and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) enables direct visualization of Noggin effects in homogenous primary cell populations in vitro and in vivo. By comparing HUVECs transduced with a control GFP and GFP/Noggin expression cassettes, we showed that constitutive and orthotopic Noggin protein expression did not influence cell proliferation, down-regulated BMP-2 expression, and showed no effect on BMP receptor transcripts. We demonstrated that in contrast to GFP-only control, Noggin expression in endothelial cells abrogated endothelial migration in response to monolayer injury, blocked endothelial transmigration, and caused abrogation of cord formation in vitro. Adding exogenous BMP-4 restored the formation of cords. Imaging experiments in vivo investigated vessel formation in Matrigel implants in athymic mice by utilizing GFP imaging or magnetic resonance imaging of perfusion in the implants. Both approaches demonstrated the lack of functional vessel formation after the adoptive transfer of GFP/Noggin-expressing human endothelial cells in mice.

DOI of Published Version



FASEB J. 2009 Dec;23(12):4126-34. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-127795. Epub 2009 Aug 19. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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PubMed ID