vegfa - vascular endothelial growth factor A
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Publication
Journal: Cell
October/18/2007
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is essential for developmental and pathological angiogenesis. Here we show that in the absence of any pathological insult, autocrine VEGF is required for the homeostasis of blood vessels in the adult. Genetic deletion of vegf specifically in the endothelial lineage leads to progressive endothelial degeneration and sudden death in 55% of mutant mice by 25 weeks of age. The phenotype is manifested without detectable changes in the total levels of VEGF mRNA or protein, indicating that paracrine VEGF could not compensate for the absence of endothelial VEGF. Furthermore, wild-type, but not VEGF null, endothelial cells showed phosphorylation of VEGFR2 in the absence of exogenous VEGF. Activation of the receptor in wild-type cells was suppressed by small molecule antagonists but not by extracellular blockade of VEGF. These results reveal a cell-autonomous VEGF signaling pathway that holds significance for vascular homeostasis but is dispensable for the angiogenic cascade.
Publication
Journal: The Journal of clinical investigation
April/1/2003
Abstract
Kidney disease affects over 20 million people in the United States alone. Although the causes of renal failure are diverse, the glomerular filtration barrier is often the target of injury. Dysregulation of VEGF expression within the glomerulus has been demonstrated in a wide range of primary and acquired renal diseases, although the significance of these changes is unknown. In the glomerulus, VEGF-A is highly expressed in podocytes that make up a major portion of the barrier between the blood and urinary spaces. In this paper, we show that glomerular-selective deletion or overexpression of VEGF-A leads to glomerular disease in mice. Podocyte-specific heterozygosity for VEGF-A resulted in renal disease by 2.5 weeks of age, characterized by proteinuria and endotheliosis, the renal lesion seen in preeclampsia. Homozygous deletion of VEGF-A in glomeruli resulted in perinatal lethality. Mutant kidneys failed to develop a filtration barrier due to defects in endothelial cell migration, differentiation, and survival. In contrast, podocyte-specific overexpression of the VEGF-164 isoform led to a striking collapsing glomerulopathy, the lesion seen in HIV-associated nephropathy. Our data demonstrate that tight regulation of VEGF-A signaling is critical for establishment and maintenance of the glomerular filtration barrier and strongly supports a pivotal role for VEGF-A in renal disease.
Publication
Journal: The Journal of clinical investigation
November/14/2000
Abstract
Sphingolipid signaling pathways have been implicated in many critical cellular events. Sphingosine-1-phosphate (SPP), a sphingolipid metabolite found in high concentrations in platelets and blood, stimulates members of the endothelial differentiation gene (Edg) family of G protein-coupled receptors and triggers diverse effects, including cell growth, survival, migration, and morphogenesis. To determine the in vivo functions of the SPP/Edg signaling pathway, we disrupted the Edg1 gene in mice. Edg1(-/-) mice exhibited embryonic hemorrhage leading to intrauterine death between E12.5 and E14.5. Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis appeared normal in the mutant embryos. However, vascular maturation was incomplete due to a deficiency of vascular smooth muscle cells/pericytes. We also show that Edg-1 mediates an SPP-induced migration response that is defective in mutant cells due to an inability to activate the small GTPase, Rac. Our data reveal Edg-1 to be the first G protein-coupled receptor required for blood vessel formation and show that sphingolipid signaling is essential during mammalian development.
Publication
Journal: The Journal of biological chemistry
November/22/1994
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a homodimeric peptide growth factor which binds to two structurally related tyrosine kinase receptors denoted Flt1 and KDR. In order to compare the signal transduction via these two receptors, the human Flt1 and KDR proteins were stably expressed in porcine aortic endothelial cells. Binding analyses using 125I-VEGF revealed Kd values of 16 pM for Flt1 and 760 pM for KDR. Cultured human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVE) cells were found to express two distinct populations of binding sites with affinities similar to those for Flt1 and KDR, respectively. The KDR expressing cells showed striking changes in cell morphology, actin reorganization and membrane ruffling, chemotaxis and mitogenicity upon VEGF stimulation, whereas Flt1 expressing cells lacked such responses. KDR was found to undergo ligand-induced autophosphorylation in intact cells, and both Flt1 and KDR were phosphorylated in vitro in response to VEGF, however, KDR much more efficiently than Flt1. Neither the receptor-associated activity of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase nor tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-gamma were affected by stimulation of Flt1 or KDR expressing cells, and phosphorylation of GTPase activating protein was only slightly increased. Members of the Src family such as Fyn and Yes showed an increased level of phosphorylation upon VEGF stimulation of cells expressing Flt1 but not in cells expressing KDR. The maximal responses in KDR expressing porcine aortic endothelial cells were obtained at higher VEGF concentrations as compared to HUVE cells, i.e. in the presence of Flt1. This difference could possibly be explained by the formation of heterodimeric complexes between KDR and Flt1, or other molecules, in HUVE cells.
Publication
Journal: The New England journal of medicine
November/24/2008
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Multiple genetic loci have been convincingly associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We tested the hypothesis that knowledge of these loci allows better prediction of risk than knowledge of common phenotypic risk factors alone.
METHODS
We genotyped single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 18 loci associated with diabetes in 2377 participants of the Framingham Offspring Study. We created a genotype score from the number of risk alleles and used logistic regression to generate C statistics indicating the extent to which the genotype score can discriminate the risk of diabetes when used alone and in addition to clinical risk factors.
RESULTS
There were 255 new cases of diabetes during 28 years of follow-up. The mean (+/-SD) genotype score was 17.7+/-2.7 among subjects in whom diabetes developed and 17.1+/-2.6 among those in whom diabetes did not develop (P<0.001). The sex-adjusted odds ratio for diabetes was 1.12 per risk allele (95% confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.17). The C statistic was 0.534 without the genotype score and 0.581 with the score (P=0.01). In a model adjusted for sex and self-reported family history of diabetes, the C statistic was 0.595 without the genotype score and 0.615 with the score (P=0.11). In a model adjusted for age, sex, family history, body-mass index, fasting glucose level, systolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and triglyceride level, the C statistic was 0.900 without the genotype score and 0.901 with the score (P=0.49). The genotype score resulted in the appropriate risk reclassification of, at most, 4% of the subjects.
CONCLUSIONS
A genotype score based on 18 risk alleles predicted new cases of diabetes in the community but provided only a slightly better prediction of risk than knowledge of common risk factors alone.
Publication
Journal: Nature genetics
April/22/2014
Abstract
To further understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) susceptibility, we aggregated published meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS), including 26,488 cases and 83,964 controls of European, east Asian, south Asian and Mexican and Mexican American ancestry. We observed a significant excess in the directional consistency of T2D risk alleles across ancestry groups, even at SNPs demonstrating only weak evidence of association. By following up the strongest signals of association from the trans-ethnic meta-analysis in an additional 21,491 cases and 55,647 controls of European ancestry, we identified seven new T2D susceptibility loci. Furthermore, we observed considerable improvements in the fine-mapping resolution of common variant association signals at several T2D susceptibility loci. These observations highlight the benefits of trans-ethnic GWAS for the discovery and characterization of complex trait loci and emphasize an exciting opportunity to extend insight into the genetic architecture and pathogenesis of human diseases across populations of diverse ancestry.
Publication
Journal: Nature genetics
May/26/2010
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant public health problem, and recent genetic studies have identified common CKD susceptibility variants. The CKDGen consortium performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association data in 67,093 individuals of European ancestry from 20 predominantly population-based studies in order to identify new susceptibility loci for reduced renal function as estimated by serum creatinine (eGFRcrea), serum cystatin c (eGFRcys) and CKD (eGFRcrea < 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2); n = 5,807 individuals with CKD (cases)). Follow-up of the 23 new genome-wide-significant loci (P < 5 x 10(-8)) in 22,982 replication samples identified 13 new loci affecting renal function and CKD (in or near LASS2, GCKR, ALMS1, TFDP2, DAB2, SLC34A1, VEGFA, PRKAG2, PIP5K1B, ATXN2, DACH1, UBE2Q2 and SLC7A9) and 7 loci suspected to affect creatinine production and secretion (CPS1, SLC22A2, TMEM60, WDR37, SLC6A13, WDR72 and BCAS3). These results further our understanding of the biologic mechanisms of kidney function by identifying loci that potentially influence nephrogenesis, podocyte function, angiogenesis, solute transport and metabolic functions of the kidney.
Publication
Journal: Science (New York, N.Y.)
December/3/2001
Abstract
Blood vessels supply developing organs with metabolic sustenance. Here, we demonstrate a role for blood vessels as a source of developmental signals during pancreatic organogenesis. In vitro experiments with embryonic mouse tissues demonstrate that blood vessel endothelium induces insulin expression in isolated endoderm. Removal of the dorsal aorta in Xenopus laevis embryos results in the failure of insulin expression in vivo. Furthermore, using transgenic mice, we show that ectopic vascularization in the posterior foregut leads to ectopic insulin expression and islet hyperplasia. These results indicate that vessels not only provide metabolic sustenance, but also provide inductive signals for organ development.
Publication
Journal: Nature
January/10/2006
Abstract
The intricate patterning processes that establish the complex vascular system during development depend on a combination of intrinsic pre-patterning and extrinsic responses to environmental parameters. Mutational studies in mice and fish have shown that the vascular system is highly sensitive to genetic disruption and have identified potential targets for therapeutic interventions. New insights into non-vascular roles of vascular endothelial growth factor and the requirement for endothelial cells in adult organs and stem-cell niches highlight possible side effects of anti-angiogenic therapy and the need for new targets.
Publication
Journal: Genes & development
November/13/2002
Abstract
Branching morphogenesis in the mammalian lung and Drosophila trachea relies on the precise localization of secreted modulators of epithelial growth to select branch sites and direct branch elongation, but the intercellular signals that control blood vessel branching have not been previously identified. We found that VEGF(120/120) mouse embryos, engineered to express solely an isoform of VEGF-A that lacks heparin-binding, and therefore extracellular matrix interaction domains, exhibited a specific decrease in capillary branch formation. This defect was not caused by isoform-specific differences in stimulating endothelial cell proliferation or by impaired isoform-specific signaling through the Nrp1 receptor. Rather, changes in the extracellular localization of VEGF-A in heparin-binding mutant embryos resulted in an altered distribution of endothelial cells within the growing vasculature. Instead of being recruited into additional branches, nascent endothelial cells were preferentially integrated within existing vessels to increase lumen caliber. The disruption of the normal VEGF-A concentration gradient also impaired the directed extension of endothelial cell filopodia, suggesting that heparin-binding VEGF-A isoforms normally provide spatially restricted stimulatory cues that polarize and thereby guide sprouting endothelial cells to initiate vascular branch formation. Consistent with this idea, we found opposing defects in embryos harboring only a heparin-binding isoform of VEGF-A, including excess endothelial filopodia and abnormally thin vessel branches in ectopic sites. We conclude that differential VEGF-A isoform localization in the extracellular space provides a control point for regulating vascular branching pattern.
Publication
Journal: Genes & development
March/26/2006
Abstract
The division, differentiation, and function of stem cells and multipotent progenitors are influenced by complex signals in the microenvironment, including oxygen availability. Using a genetic "knock-in" strategy, we demonstrate that targeted replacement of the oxygen-regulated transcription factor HIF-1alpha with HIF-2alpha results in expanded expression of HIF-2alpha-specific target genes including Oct-4, a transcription factor essential for maintaining stem cell pluripotency. We show that HIF-2alpha, but not HIF-1alpha, binds to the Oct-4 promoter and induces Oct-4 expression and transcriptional activity, thereby contributing to impaired development in homozygous Hif-2alpha KI/KI embryos, defective hematopoietic stem cell differentiation in embryoid bodies, and large embryonic stem cell (ES)-derived tumors characterized by altered cellular differentiation. Furthermore, loss of HIF-2alpha severely reduces the number of embryonic primordial germ cells, which require Oct-4 expression for survival and/or maintenance. These results identify Oct-4 as a HIF-2alpha-specific target gene and indicate that HIF-2alpha can regulate stem cell function and/or differentiation through activation of Oct-4, which in turn contributes to HIF-2alpha's tumor promoting activity.
Publication
Journal: The Journal of cell biology
May/30/2001
Abstract
The association of pericytes (PCs) to newly formed blood vessels has been suggested to regulate endothelial cell (EC) proliferation, survival, migration, differentiation, and vascular branching. Here, we addressed these issues using PDGF-B-- and PDGF receptor-beta (PDGFR-beta)--deficient mice as in vivo models of brain angiogenesis in the absence of PCs. Quantitative morphological analysis showed that these mutants have normal microvessel density, length, and number of branch points. However, absence of PCs correlates with endothelial hyperplasia, increased capillary diameter, abnormal EC shape and ultrastructure, changed cellular distribution of certain junctional proteins, and morphological signs of increased transendothelial permeability. Brain endothelial hyperplasia was observed already at embryonic day (E) 11.5 and persisted throughout development. From E 13.5, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and other genes responsive to metabolic stress became upregulated, suggesting that the abnormal microvessel architecture has systemic metabolic consequences. VEGF-A upregulation correlated temporally with the occurrence of vascular abnormalities in the placenta and dilation of the heart. Thus, although PC deficiency appears to have direct effects on EC number before E 13.5, the subsequent increased VEGF-A levels may further abrogate microvessel architecture, promote vascular permeability, and contribute to formation of the edematous phenotype observed in late gestation PDGF-B and PDGFR-beta knock out embryos.
Publication
Journal: Development (Cambridge, England)
April/26/1999
Abstract
We employed two independent approaches to inactivate the angiogenic protein VEGF in newborn mice: inducible, Cre-loxP- mediated gene targeting, or administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, a soluble VEGF receptor chimeric protein. Partial inhibition of VEGF achieved by inducible gene targeting resulted in increased mortality, stunted body growth and impaired organ development, most notably of the liver. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG, which achieves a higher degree of VEGF inhibition, resulted in nearly complete growth arrest and lethality. Ultrastructural analysis documented alterations in endothelial and other cell types. Histological and biochemical changes consistent with liver and renal failure were observed. Endothelial cells isolated from the liver of mFlt(1-3)-IgG-treated neonates demonstrated an increased apoptotic index, indicating that VEGF is required not only for proliferation but also for survival of endothelial cells. However, such treatment resulted in less significant alterations as the animal matured, and the dependence on VEGF was eventually lost some time after the fourth postnatal week. Administration of mFlt(1-3)-IgG to juvenile mice failed to induce apoptosis in liver endothelial cells. Thus, VEGF is essential for growth and survival in early postnatal life. However, in the fully developed animal, VEGF is likely to be involved primarily in active angiogenesis processes such as corpus luteum development.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
June/12/2007
Abstract
Delta-like 4 (Dll4) is a transmembrane ligand for Notch receptors that is expressed in arterial blood vessels and sprouting endothelial cells. Here we show that Dll4 regulates vessel branching during development by inhibiting endothelial tip cell formation. Heterozygous deletion of dll4 or pharmacological inhibition of Notch signaling using gamma-secretase inhibitor revealed a striking vascular phenotype, with greatly increased numbers of filopodia-extending endothelial tip cells and increased expression of tip cell marker genes compared with controls. Filopodia extension in dll4(+/-) retinal vessels required the vascular growth factor VEGF and was inhibited when VEGF signaling was blocked. Although VEGF expression was not significantly altered in dll4(+/-) retinas, dll4(+/-) vessels showed increased expression of VEGF receptor 2 and decreased expression of VEGF receptor 1 compared with wild-type, suggesting they could be more responsive to VEGF stimulation. In addition, expression of dll4 in wild-type tip cells was itself decreased when VEGF signaling was blocked, indicating that dll4 may act downstream of VEGF as a "brake" on VEGF-mediated angiogenic sprouting. Taken together, these data reveal Dll4 as a negative regulator of vascular sprouting and vessel branching that is required for normal vascular network formation during development.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
March/2/1995
Abstract
Neovascular diseases of the retina are a major cause of blindness worldwide. Hypoxia is thought to be a common precursor to neovascularization in many retinal diseases, but the factors involved in the hypoxic neovascular response have not been fully identified. To investigate the role of vascular endothelial growth factor/vascular permeability factor (VEGF/VPF) in retinal neovascularization, the expression of VEGF/VPF mRNA and protein were studied in a mouse model of proliferative retinopathy. RNA (Northern) blot analysis revealed that retinal VEGF/VPF mRNA expression increased 3-fold between 6 and 12 hr of relative retinal hypoxia and remained elevated during the development of neovascularization. In situ hybridization localized VEGF/VPF mRNA to cells bodies in the inner nuclear layer of the retina. Immunohistochemical confocal microscopy demonstrated that VEGF/VPF protein levels increase with a time course similar to that of the mRNA. The cells in the inner nuclear layer of the retina that produce VEGF/VPF were identified morphologically as Müller cells. These data suggest that VEGF/VPF expression in the retina plays a central role in the development of retinal ischemia-induced ocular neovascularization.
Publication
Journal: Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.)
March/30/1992
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was recently identified as a secreted, direct-acting mitogen specific for vascular endothelial cells and capable of stimulating angiogenesis in vivo. Molecular cloning revealed multiple forms of VEGF, apparently arising from alternative splicing of its RNA transcript. We have examined various human cDNA libraries by the polymerase chain reaction technique and discovered a fourth molecular form, VEGF206. This form contains a 41-amino acid insertion relative to the most abundant form, VEGF165, and includes the highly basic 24-amino acid insertion found in VEGF189. Southern blot analysis revealed that a single gene encoded these various forms, and nucleic acid sequence analysis of a portion of the VEGF gene revealed an intron/exon structure compatible with alternative splicing of RNA as a mechanism for their generation. Transient transfection of human embryonic kidney 293 cells showed that, like VEGF189, VEGF206 was predominately cell-associated and only very poorly secreted despite the presence of the signal peptide identical to that found in VEGF121 and VEGF165, both of which are efficiently exported from the cell. Vascular permeability activity was detected in the medium of 293 cells transfected with all four forms of VEGF; however, endothelial cell mitogenic activity was apparent only with VEGF121 and VEGF165. Thus, alternative splicing of VEGF RNA can produce four polypeptides with strikingly different secretion patterns, which suggests multiple physiological roles for this family of proteins.
Publication
Journal: PloS one
March/15/2010
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of 20-24 nt non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression primarily through post-transcriptional repression or mRNA degradation in a sequence-specific manner. The roles of miRNAs are just beginning to be understood, but the study of miRNA function has been limited by poor understanding of the general principles of gene regulation by miRNAs. Here we used CNE cells from a human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line as a cellular system to investigate miRNA-directed regulation of VEGF and other angiogenic factors under hypoxia, and to explore the principles of gene regulation by miRNAs. Through computational analysis, 96 miRNAs were predicted as putative regulators of VEGF. But when we analyzed the miRNA expression profile of CNE and four other VEGF-expressing cell lines, we found that only some of these miRNAs could be involved in VEGF regulation, and that VEGF may be regulated by different miRNAs that were differentially chosen from 96 putative regulatory miRNAs of VEGF in different cells. Some of these miRNAs also co-regulate other angiogenic factors (differential regulation and co-regulation principle). We also found that VEGF was regulated by multiple miRNAs using different combinations, including both coordinate and competitive interactions. The coordinate principle states that miRNAs with independent binding sites in a gene can produce coordinate action to increase the repressive effect of miRNAs on this gene. By contrast, the competitive principle states when multiple miRNAs compete with each other for a common binding site, or when a functional miRNA competes with a false positive miRNA for the same binding site, the repressive effects of miRNAs may be decreased. Through the competitive principle, false positive miRNAs, which cannot directly repress gene expression, can sometimes play a role in miRNA-mediated gene regulation. The competitive principle, differential regulation, multi-miRNA binding sites, and false positive miRNAs might be useful strategies in the avoidance of unwanted cross-action among genes targeted by miRNAs with multiple targets.
Publication
Journal: American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology
February/27/2006
Abstract
Unlike during development, blood vessels in the adult are generally thought not to require VEGF for normal function. However, VEGF is a survival factor for many tumor vessels, and there are clues that some normal blood vessels may also depend on VEGF. In this study, we sought to identify which, if any, vascular beds in adult mice depend on VEGF for survival. Mice were treated with a small-molecule VEGF receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor or soluble VEGFRs for 1-3 wk. Blood vessels were assessed using immunohistochemistry or scanning or transmission electron microscopy. In a study of 17 normal organs after VEGF inhibition, we found significant capillary regression in pancreatic islets, thyroid, adrenal cortex, pituitary, choroid plexus, small-intestinal villi, and epididymal adipose tissue. The amount of regression was dose dependent and varied from organ to organ, with a maximum of 68% in thyroid, but was less in normal organs than in tumors in RIP-Tag2-transgenic mice or in Lewis lung carcinoma. VEGF-dependent capillaries were fenestrated, expressed high levels of both VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3, and had normal pericyte coverage. Surviving capillaries in affected organs had fewer fenestrations and less VEGFR expression. All mice appeared healthy, but distinct physiological changes, including more efficient blood glucose handling, accompanied some regimens of VEGF inhibition. Strikingly, most capillaries in the thyroid grew back within 2 wk after cessation of treatment for 1 wk. Our findings of VEGF dependency of normal fenestrated capillaries and rapid regrowth after regression demonstrate the plasticity of the adult microvasculature.
Publication
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
May/26/1997
Abstract
We have isolated and characterized a cDNA for a novel Per-Arnt/AhR-Sim basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH-PAS) factor that interacts with the Ah receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt), and its predicted amino acid sequence exhibits significant similarity to the hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF1alpha) and Drosophila trachealess (dTrh) gene product. The HIF1alpha-like factor (HLF) encoded by the isolated cDNA bound the hypoxia-response element (HRE) found in enhancers of genes for erythropoietin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and various glycolytic enzymes, and activated transcription of a reporter gene harboring the HRE. Although transcription-activating properties of HLF were very similar to those reported for HIF1alpha, their expression patterns were quite different between the two factors; HLF mRNA was most abundantly expressed in lung, followed by heart, liver, and other various organs under normoxic conditions, whereas HIF1alpha mRNA was ubiquitously expressed at much lower levels. In lung development around parturition, HLF mRNA expression was markedly enhanced, whereas that of HIF1alpha mRNA remained apparently unchanged at a much lower level. Moreover, HLF mRNA expression was closely correlated with that of VEGF mRNA. Whole mount in situ hybridization experiments demonstrated that HLF mRNA was expressed in vascular endothelial cells at the middle stages (9.5 and 10.5 days postcoitus) of mouse embryo development, where HIF1alpha mRNA was almost undetectable. The high expression level of HLF mRNA in the O2 delivery system of developing embryos and adult organs suggests that in a normoxic state, HLF regulates gene expression of VEGF, various glycolytic enzymes, and others driven by the HRE sequence, and may be involved in development of blood vessels and the tubular system of lung.
Publication
Journal: Nature genetics
May/20/2013
Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of blindness in older individuals. To accelerate the understanding of AMD biology and help design new therapies, we executed a collaborative genome-wide association study, including>>17,100 advanced AMD cases and>>60,000 controls of European and Asian ancestry. We identified 19 loci associated at P < 5 × 10(-8). These loci show enrichment for genes involved in the regulation of complement activity, lipid metabolism, extracellular matrix remodeling and angiogenesis. Our results include seven loci with associations reaching P < 5 × 10(-8) for the first time, near the genes COL8A1-FILIP1L, IER3-DDR1, SLC16A8, TGFBR1, RAD51B, ADAMTS9 and B3GALTL. A genetic risk score combining SNP genotypes from all loci showed similar ability to distinguish cases and controls in all samples examined. Our findings provide new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of AMD.
Publication
Journal: Blood
September/6/2010
Abstract
Blood vessel networks expand in a 2-step process that begins with vessel sprouting and is followed by vessel anastomosis. Vessel sprouting is induced by chemotactic gradients of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which stimulates tip cell protrusion. Yet it is not known which factors promote the fusion of neighboring tip cells to add new circuits to the existing vessel network. By combining the analysis of mouse mutants defective in macrophage development or VEGF signaling with live imaging in zebrafish, we now show that macrophages promote tip cell fusion downstream of VEGF-mediated tip cell induction. Macrophages therefore play a hitherto unidentified and unexpected role as vascular fusion cells. Moreover, we show that there are striking molecular similarities between the pro-angiogenic tissue macrophages essential for vascular development and those that promote the angiogenic switch in cancer, including the expression of the cell-surface proteins TIE2 and NRP1. Our findings suggest that tissue macrophages are a target for antiangiogenic therapies, but that they could equally well be exploited to stimulate tissue vascularization in ischemic disease.
Publication