NADPH oxidase 2 regulates bone marrow microenvironment following hindlimb ischemia: Role in reparative mobilization of progenitor cells

Norifumi Urao, Ronald D. McKinney, Tohru Fukai, Masuko Ushio-Fukai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Bone marrow (BM) microenvironment, which is regulated by hypoxia and proteolytic enzymes, is crucial for stem/progenitor cell function and mobilization involved in postnatal neovascularization. We demonstrated that NADPH oxidase 2 (Nox2)-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in postischemic mobilization of BM cells and revascularization. However, role of Nox2 in regulating BM microenvironment in response to ischemic injury remains unknown. Here, we show that hindlimb ischemia of mice increases ROS production in both the endosteal and central region of BM tissue in situ, which is almost completely abolished in Nox2 knockout (KO) mice. This Nox2-dependent ROS production is mainly derived from Gr-1+myeloid cells in BM. In vivo injection of hypoxyprobe reveals that endosteum at the BM is hypoxic with high expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in basal state. Following hindlimb ischemia, hypoxic areas and HIF-1α expression are expanded throughout the BM, which is inhibited in Nox2 KO mice. This ischemia-induced alteration of Nox2-dependent BM microenvironment is associated with an increase in vascular endothelial growth factor expression and Akt phosphorylation in BM tissue, thereby promoting Lin- progenitor cell survival and expansion, leading to their mobilization from BM. Furthermore, hindlimb ischemia increases proteolytic enzymes membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression and MMP-9 activity in BM, which is inhibited in Nox2 KO mice. In summary, Nox2-dependent increase in ROS plays a critical role in regulating hypoxia expansion and proteolytic activities in BM microenvironment in response to tissue ischemia. This in turn promotes progenitor cell expansion and reparative mobilization from BM, leading to postischemic neovascularization and tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-934
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cells
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Hematopoietic stem cell
  • Hypoxia
  • Ischemia
  • Mobilization
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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