Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Arsenic stimulates sinusoidal endothelial cell capillarization and vessel remodeling in mouse liver.

Authors: Straub, Adam C; Stolz, Donna B; Ross, Mark A; Hernández-Zavala, Araceli; Soucy, Nicole V; Klei, Linda R; Barchowsky, Aaron

Published In Hepatology, (2007 Jan)

Abstract: Trivalent arsenic [As(III)] is a well-known environmental toxicant that causes a wide range of organ-specific diseases and cancers. In the human liver, As(III) promotes vascular remodeling, portal fibrosis, and hypertension, but the pathogenesis of these As(III)-induced vascular changes is unknown. To investigate the hypothesis that As(III) targets the hepatic endothelium to initiate pathogenic change, mice were exposed to 0 or 250 parts per billion (ppb) of As(III) in their drinking water for 5 weeks. Arsenic(III) exposure did not affect the overall health of the animals, the general structure of the liver, or hepatocyte morphology. There was no change in the total tissue arsenic levels, indicating that arsenic does not accumulate in the liver at this level of exposure. However, there was significant vascular remodeling with increased sinusoidal endothelial cell (SEC) capillarization, vascularization of the peribiliary vascular plexus (PBVP), and constriction of hepatic arterioles in As(III)-exposed mice. In addition to ultrastructural demonstration of SEC defenestration and capillarization, quantitative immunofluorescence analysis revealed increased sinusoidal PECAM-1 and laminin-1 protein expression, suggesting gain of adherens junctions and a basement membrane. Conversion of SECs to a capillarized, dedifferentiated endothelium was confirmed at the cellular level with demonstration of increased caveolin-1 expression and SEC caveolae, as well as increased membrane-bound Rac1-GTPase.These data demonstrate that exposure to As(III) causes functional changes in SEC signaling for sinusoidal capillarization that may be initial events in pathogenic changes in the liver.

PubMed ID: 17187425 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Animals; Arsenic/toxicity*; Blood Vessels/drug effects*; Blood Vessels/pathology; Capillaries/drug effects*; Capillaries/pathology; Caveolin 1/genetics; Caveolin 1/metabolism; Dose-Response Relationship, Drug; Endothelial Cells/drug effects*; Endothelial Cells/metabolism; Endothelium/blood supply; Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects; Laminin/genetics; Laminin/metabolism; Liver/blood supply*; Liver/drug effects*; Liver/metabolism; Liver/pathology; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Neovascularization, Pathologic; Neuropeptides/genetics; Neuropeptides/metabolism; Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/genetics; Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism; Vasoconstriction/drug effects; rac GTP-Binding Proteins/genetics; rac GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism; rac1 GTP-Binding Protein

to Top