Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), a potent inducer of angiogenesis in vivo, stimulates the production of both urokinase- and tissue-type plasminogen activators (PAs) in cultured bovine capillary endothelial cells. The observed increase in proteolytic activity induced by bFGF was effectively diminished by picogram amounts of transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta), but could not be abolished by increasing the amount of TGF beta. However, the inhibition by TGF beta was greatly enhanced if the cells were pretreated with TGF beta before addition of bFGF. After prolonged incubation of cultures treated simultaneously with bFGF and TGF beta, the inhibitory effect of TGF beta diminished and the stimulatory effect of the added bFGF dominated as assayed by PA levels. TGF beta did not alter the receptor binding of labeled bFGF, nor did a 6-h pretreatment with TGF beta reduce the amount of bFGF bound. The major difference between the effects of bFGF and TGF beta was that while bFGF effectively enhanced PA activity expressed by the cells, TGF beta decreased the amounts of both cell-associated and secreted PA activity by decreasing enzyme production. Both bFGF and TGF beta increased the secretion of the endothelial-type plasminogen activator inhibitor.

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