Control of endothelial cell proliferation by calcium influx and arachidonic acid metabolism: a pharmacological approach

J Cell Physiol. 2003 Dec;197(3):370-8. doi: 10.1002/jcp.10359.


In physiological conditions, endothelial cell proliferation is strictly controlled by several growth factors, among which bFGF and VEGF are the most effective. Both bind to specific tyrosine kinase receptors and trigger intracellular signal cascades. In particular, bFGF stimulates the release of arachidonic acid (AA) and its metabolites in many types of endothelial cells in culture. In bovine aortic endothelial cells, it has been suggested that AA is released by the recruitment of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). AA metabolites are involved in the control of both endothelial cell motility (mostly via the cyclooxygenase pathway) and proliferation (via the lipoxygenase (LOX) cascade). On the other hand, evidence has been provided for a proliferative role of AA-induced calcium influx. By using a pharmacological approach, we have tried to elucidate the contribution to bovine aortic endothelial proliferation of the different pathways leading to production of AA and its metabolites. Two main informations were obtained by our experiments: first, AA release is not entirely due to cPLA2 involvement, but also to DAG lipase recruitment; second, cyclooxygenase derivatives play a role in the control of cell proliferation, and not only of motility. Moreover, by combining proliferation assays and single cell calcium measurements, we show that the blocking effect of carboxyamido-triazole (CAI), an inhibitor of tumor growth and angiogenesis acting on calcium influx-dependent pathways, including AA metabolism, is at least in part due to a direct effect on AA-induced calcium influx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / pharmacology
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
  • Lipoxygenase / drug effects
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Phospholipase D / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Phospholipase D / metabolism
  • Phospholipases A / metabolism
  • Phospholipases A2
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism
  • Triazoles / pharmacology
  • Type C Phospholipases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Type C Phospholipases / metabolism


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Triazoles
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • carboxyamido-triazole
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Phospholipases A
  • Lipoprotein Lipase
  • Phospholipases A2
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • Phospholipase D
  • Calcium