Objectives: The goal of this paper is to investigate the effects of activated complement C5a on vascular endothelium during vessel formation. Methods: A human microvascular endothelial cell line (HMEC-1) derived from post-capillary venules in skin was used to measure DNA synthesis, proliferation and cell-cycle progression. In vitro ring-shaped formation by the cells was assessed by using type I collagen gel matrix and a cell-migration assay using the Chemotaxicell chamber. A Matrigel plug assay was performed to confirm the effect of C5a in vivo. Results: C5a progressed the cell cycle of HMEC-1 into G2/M phases, and induced DNA synthesis and proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. C5a efficiently induced migration and ring-shaped structure formation both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, a C5a receptor antagonist (W-54011) suppressed all HMEC-1 activities including proliferation and migration. Conclusions: Proliferation, migration, and ring-shaped formation by HMEC-1 cells was induced by C5a. The actions were efficiently inhibited by a specific antagonist against C5a. Our results implicated C5a in vessel formation and as a potent target for management of inflammatory diseases.
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