Adaptive vascular remodeling in response to arterial occlusion takes the form of capillary growth (angiogenesis) and outward remodeling of pre-existing collateral arteries (arteriogenesis). However, the relative contributions of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis toward the overall reperfusion response are both highly debated and poorly understood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that myoglobin overexpressing transgenic mice (MbTg(+)) exhibit impaired angiogenesis in the setting of normal arteriogenesis in response to femoral artery ligation, and thereby serve as a model for disconnecting these two vascular growth processes. After femoral artery ligation, MbTg(+) mice were characterized by delayed distal limb reperfusion (by laser Doppler perfusion imaging), decreased foot use, and impaired distal limb muscle angiogenesis in both glycolytic and oxidative muscle fiber regions at day 7. Substantial arteriogenesis occurred in the primary collaterals supplying the ischemic limb in both wild-type and MbTg(+) mice; however, there were no significant differences between groups, indicating that myoglobin overexpression does not affect arteriogenesis. Together, these results uniquely demonstrate that functional collateral arteriogenesis alone is not necessarily sufficient for adequate reperfusion after arterial occlusion. Angiogenesis is a key component of an effective reperfusion response, and clinical strategies that target both angiogenesis and arteriogenesis could yield the most efficacious treatments for peripheral arterial disease.
Copyright © 2013 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.