Glycocalyx heparan sulfate cleavage promotes endothelial cell angiopoietin-2 expression by impairing shear stress- related AMPK/FoxO1 signaling

Academic Article


  • Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is a key mediator of vascular disease during sepsis, and elevated plasma levels of Ang-2 are associated with organ injury scores and poor clinical outcomes. We have previously observed that biomarkers of endothelial glycocalyx (EG) damage correlate with plasma Ang-2 levels, suggesting a potential mechanistic linkage between EG injury and Ang-2 expression during states of systemic inflammation. However, the cell signaling mechanisms regulating Ang-2 expression following EG damage are unknown. In the current study, we determined the temporal associations between plasma heparan sulfate (HS) levels as a marker of EG erosion and plasma Ang-2 levels in children with sepsis and in mouse models of sepsis. Second, we evaluated the role of shear stress-mediated 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling in Ang-2 expression following enzymatic HS cleavage from the surface of human primary lung microvascular endothelial cells (HLMVECs). We found that plasma HS levels peaked before plasma Ang-2 levels in children and mice with sepsis. Further, we discovered that impaired AMPK signaling contributed to increased Ang-2 expression following HS cleavage from flow-conditioned HLMVECs, establishing a paradigm by which Ang-2 may be upregulated during sepsis.
  • Published In

  • JCI Insight  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Richter RP; Ashtekar AR; Zheng L; Pretorius D; Kaushlendra T; Sanderson RD; Gaggar A; Richter JR
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 15