Chemerin acting via its distinct G protein-coupled receptor CMKLR1 (ChemR23), is a novel adipokine, circulating levels of which are raised in inflammatory states. Chemerin shows strong correlation with various facets of the metabolic syndrome; these states are associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and dysregulated angiogenesis. We therefore, investigated the regulation of ChemR23 by pro-inflammatory cytokines and assessed the angiogenic potential of chemerin in human endothelial cells (EC). We have demonstrated the novel presence of ChemR23 in human ECs and its significant up-regulation (P<0.001) by pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and IL-6. More importantly, chemerin was potently angiogenic, as assessed by conducting functional in-vitro angiogenic assays; chemerin also dose-dependently induced gelatinolytic (MMP-2 & MMP-9) activity of ECs (P<0.001). Furthermore, chemerin dose-dependently activated PI3K/Akt and MAPKs pathways (P<0.01), key angiogenic and cell survival cascades. Our data provide the first evidence of chemerin-induced endothelial angiogenesis and MMP production and activity.
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