Angiopoietin (Angpt)-2, a permeability-increasing growth factor, is involved in vascular leakage of sepsis and acute lung injury, and could be released from endothelium in response to anaphylaxis-related secretagogues such as histamine and leukotrienes, or cytokines. However, roles of Angpt-2 in the hyperpermeability during systemic anaphylaxis are not known. Thus, we determined plasma levels of Angpt-2 and cytokines and vascular permeability during anaphylactic hypotension in unanesthetized rats. Anaphylaxis was induced by an intravenous injection of ovalbumin antigen. Mean arterial blood pressure (MBP) was measured, and hematocrit (Hct) and plasma levels of Angpt-2 and cytokines were assessed for 24 h after antigen injection. Separately, vascular permeability was measured in various organs using the Evans blue dye method, and Angpt-2 mRNA expression in liver was measured. After antigen injection, MBP decreased to the nadir at 6 min, and returned to baseline at 45 min, and Hct peaked at 20 min and thereafter progressively declined, suggesting that vascular leak and hypotension occurred within 20 min. Plasma Angpt-2 levels began to increase significantly at 1 h after antigen, reaching the peak 2.7-fold baseline at 6 h with a return to baseline at 24 h. Detected cytokines of IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α peaked 1 or 2 h after antigen. Angpt-2 mRNA increased at 2 h and showed an increasing tendency at 6 h. Vascular permeability in bronchus, trachea, intestines, mesentery and skeletal muscle was increased at 10 min but not at 6 h after antigen. In addition, we confirmed using anesthetized rat anaphylaxis models that plasma Angpt-2 levels increased at 1 h after antigen. In conclusion, plasma Angpt-2 is elevated presumably due to increased cytokines and enhanced gene transcription during anaphylaxis in anesthetized and unanesthetized rats.
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