Oehlers, S.H., Cronan, M.R., Beerman, R.W., Johnson, M.G., Huang, J., Kontos, C.D., Stout, J.E., Tobin, D.M. (2017) Infection-induced vascular permeability aids mycobacterial growth. The Journal of infectious diseases. 215(5):813-817.
Pathogenic mycobacteria trigger formation of organized granulomas. As granulomas mature, they induce angiogenesis and vascular permeability. Here, in a striking parallel to tumor pro-angiogenic signaling, we identify Angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2) induction as an important component of vascular dysfunction during mycobacterial infection. Mycobacterial infection in humans and zebrafish results in robust induction of ANG-2 expression from macrophages and stromal cells. Using a small molecule inhibitor closely related to one currently in clinical trials, we link ANG-2/TIE2 signaling to vascular permeability during mycobacterial infection. Targeting granuloma-induced vascular permeability via VE-PTP inhibition limits mycobacterial growth, suggesting a new strategy for host-directed therapies against tuberculosis.