Coronary arteries (CAs) stem from the aorta at 2 highly stereotyped locations, deviations from which can cause myocardial ischemia and death. CA stems form during embryogenesis when peritruncal blood vessels encircle the cardiac outflow tract and invade the aorta, but the underlying patterning mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, using murine models, we demonstrated that VEGF-C–deficient hearts have severely hypoplastic peritruncal vessels, resulting in delayed and abnormally positioned CA stems. We observed that VEGF-C is widely expressed in the outflow tract, while cardiomyocytes develop specifically within the aorta at stem sites where they surround maturing CAs in both mouse and human hearts. Mice heterozygous for islet 1 (
Heidi I. Chen, Aruna Poduri, Harri Numi, Riikka Kivela, Pipsa Saharinen, Andrew S. McKay, Brian Raftrey, Jared Churko, Xueying Tian, Bin Zhou, Joseph C. Wu, Kari Alitalo, Kristy Red-Horse
Patients with cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD) exhibit perturbed end-artery function and have an increased risk for stroke and age-related cognitive decline. Here, we used targeted genome-wide association (GWA) analysis and defined a CSVD locus adjacent to the forkhead transcription factor
Curtis R. French, Sudha Seshadri, Anita L. Destefano, Myriam Fornage, Corey R. Arnold, Philip J. Gage, Jonathan M. Skarie, William B. Dobyns, Kathleen J. Millen, Ting Liu, William Dietz, Tsutomu Kume, Marten Hofker, Derek J. Emery, Sarah J. Childs, Andrew J. Waskiewicz, Ordan J. Lehmann
Transport of oxygen by red blood cells (rbc) is critical for life and embryogenesis. Here, we determined that provision of the lipid mediator sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) to the systemic circulation is an essential function of rbc in embryogenesis. Mice with rbc-specific deletion of sphingosine kinases 1 and 2 (
Yuquan Xiong, Peiying Yang, Richard L. Proia, Timothy Hla
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, afflicting more than 60 million people worldwide. Increased intraocular pressure (IOP) due to impaired aqueous humor drainage is a major risk factor for the development of glaucoma. Here, we demonstrated that genetic disruption of the angiopoietin/TIE2 (ANGPT/TIE2) signaling pathway results in high IOP, buphthalmos, and classic features of glaucoma, including retinal ganglion degeneration and vision loss. Eyes from mice with induced deletion of
Benjamin R. Thomson, Stefan Heinen, Marie Jeansson, Asish K. Ghosh, Anees Fatima, Hoon-Ki Sung, Tuncer Onay, Hui Chen, Shinji Yamaguchi, Aris N. Economides, Ann Flenniken, Nicholas W. Gale, Young-Kwon Hong, Amani Fawzi, Xiaorong Liu, Tsutomu Kume, Susan E. Quaggin
Retinal and choroidal neovascularization (NV) and vascular leakage contribute to visual impairment in several common ocular diseases. The angiopoietin/TIE2 (ANG/TIE2) pathway maintains vascular integrity, and negative regulators of this pathway are potential therapeutic targets for these diseases. Here, we demonstrated that vascular endothelial-protein tyrosine phosphatase (VE-PTP), which negatively regulates TIE2 activation, is upregulated in hypoxic vascular endothelial cells, particularly in retinal NV. Intraocular injection of an anti–VE-PTP antibody previously shown to activate TIE2 suppressed ocular NV. Furthermore, a small-molecule inhibitor of VE-PTP catalytic activity (AKB-9778) activated TIE2, enhanced ANG1-induced TIE2 activation, and stimulated phosphorylation of signaling molecules in the TIE2 pathway, including AKT, eNOS, and ERK. In mouse models of neovascular age-related macular degeneration, AKB-9778 induced phosphorylation of TIE2 and strongly suppressed NV. Ischemia-induced retinal NV, which is relevant to diabetic retinopathy, was accentuated by the induction of ANG2 but inhibited by AKB-9778, even in the presence of high levels of ANG2. AKB-9778 also blocked VEGF-induced leakage from dermal and retinal vessels and prevented exudative retinal detachments in double-transgenic mice with high expression of VEGF in photoreceptors. These data support targeting VE-PTP to stabilize retinal and choroidal blood vessels and suggest that this strategy has potential for patients with a wide variety of retinal and choroidal vascular diseases
Jikui Shen, Maike Frye, Bonnie L. Lee, Jessica L. Reinardy, Joseph M. McClung, Kun Ding, Masashi Kojima, Huiming Xia, Christopher Seidel, Raquel Lima e Silva, Aling Dong, Sean F. Hackett, Jiangxia Wang, Brian W. Howard, Dietmar Vestweber, Christopher D. Kontos, Kevin G. Peters, Peter A. Campochiaro
After internalization, transmembrane receptors (TMRs) are typically recycled back to the cell surface or targeted for degradation. Efficient TMR trafficking is critical for regulation of several processes, including signal transduction pathways, development, and disease. Here, we determined that trafficking of the angiogenic receptor neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) is abrogated by the liver kinase B1 (LKB1), a serine-threonine kinase of the calcium calmodulin family. We found that aberrant NRP-1 expression in tumor cells from patients with lung adenocarcinoma is associated with decreased levels of LKB1. In cultured lung cells, LKB1 accentuated formation of a complex between NRP-1 and RAB7 in late endosomes. LKB1 specifically bound GTP-bound RAB7, but not a dominant-negative GDP-bound form of RAB7, promoting rapid transfer and lysosome degradation of NRP-1. siRNA-mediated depletion of RAB7 disrupted the transfer of NRP-1 to the lysosome, resulting in recovery of the receptor as well as increased tumor growth and angiogenesis. Together, our findings indicate that LKB1 functions as a RAB7 effector and suppresses angiogenesis by promoting the cellular trafficking of NRP-1 from RAB7 vesicles to the lysosome for degradation. Furthermore, these data suggest that LKB1 and NRP-1 have potential as therapeutic targets for limiting tumorigenesis.
Imoh S. Okon, Kathleen A. Coughlan, Cheng Zhang, Cate Moriasi, Ye Ding, Ping Song, Wencheng Zhang, Guangpu Li, Ming-Hui Zou
Drugs currently approved to coat stents used in percutaneous coronary interventions do not discriminate between proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). This lack of discrimination delays reendothelialization and vascular healing, increasing the risk of late thrombosis following angioplasty. We developed a microRNA-based (miRNA-based) approach to inhibit proliferative VSMCs, thus preventing restenosis, while selectively promoting reendothelialization and preserving EC function. We used an adenoviral (Ad) vector that encodes cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 (p27) with target sequences for EC-specific miR-126-3p at the 3′ end (Ad-p27-126TS). Exogenous p27 overexpression was evaluated in vitro and in a rat arterial balloon injury model following transduction with Ad-p27-126TS, Ad-p27 (without miR-126 target sequences), or Ad-GFP (control). In vitro, Ad-p27-126TS protected the ability of ECs to proliferate, migrate, and form networks. At 2 and 4 weeks after injury, Ad-p27-126TS–treated animals exhibited reduced restenosis, complete reendothelialization, reduced hypercoagulability, and restoration of the vasodilatory response to acetylcholine to levels comparable to those in uninjured vessels. By incorporating miR-126-3p target sequences to leverage endogenous EC-specific miR-126, we overexpressed exogenous p27 in VSMCs, while selectively inhibiting p27 overexpression in ECs. Our proof-of-principle study demonstrates the potential of using a miRNA-based strategy as a therapeutic approach to specifically inhibit vascular restenosis while preserving EC function.
Gaetano Santulli, Anetta Wronska, Kunihiro Uryu, Thomas G. Diacovo, Melanie Gao, Steven O. Marx, Jan Kitajewski, Jamie M. Chilton, Kemal Marc Akat, Thomas Tuschl, Andrew R. Marks, Hana Totary-Jain
Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) of unknown etiology that are associated with an aberrant mucosal immune response. Neoangiogenesis and vascular injury are observed in IBD along with increased lymphangiogenesis. While the pathogenic role of angiogenesis in IBD is well characterized, it is not clear how or if increased lymphangiogenesis promotes disease. Here, we determined that enhancing lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic function reduces experimental IBD. Specifically, we demonstrated that adenoviral induction of prolymphangiogenic factor VEGF-C provides marked protection against the development of acute and chronic colitis in 2 different animal models. VEGF-C–dependent protection was observed in combination with increased inflammatory cell mobilization and bacterial antigen clearance from the inflamed colon to the draining lymph nodes. Moreover, we found that the VEGF-C/VEGFR3 pathway regulates macrophage (MΦ) plasticity and activation both in cultured MΦs and in vivo, imparting a hybrid M1-M2 phenotype. The protective function of VEGF-C was meditated by the so-called resolving MΦs during chronic experimental colitis in a STAT6-dependent manner. Together, these findings shed light on the contribution of lymphatics to the pathogenesis of gut inflammation and suggest that correction of defective lymphatic function with VEGF-C has potential as a therapeutic strategy for IBD.
Silvia D’Alessio, Carmen Correale, Carlotta Tacconi, Alessandro Gandelli, Giovanni Pietrogrande, Stefania Vetrano, Marco Genua, Vincenzo Arena, Antonino Spinelli, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Claudio Fiocchi, Silvio Danese
The endothelium plays a fundamental role in maintaining vascular homeostasis by releasing factors that regulate local blood flow, systemic blood pressure, and the reactivity of leukocytes and platelets. Accordingly, endothelial dysfunction underpins many cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Herein, we evaluated mice with endothelial-specific deletion of
Amie J. Moyes, Rayomand S. Khambata, Inmaculada Villar, Kristen J. Bubb, Reshma S. Baliga, Natalie G. Lumsden, Fang Xiao, Paul J. Gane, Anne-Sophie Rebstock, Roberta J. Worthington, Michela I. Simone, Filipa Mota, Fernando Rivilla, Susana Vallejo, Concepción Peiró, Carlos F. Sánchez Ferrer, Snezana Djordjevic, Mark J. Caulfield, Raymond J. MacAllister, David L. Selwood, Amrita Ahluwalia, Adrian J. Hobbs
Canonical WNT signaling is required for proper vascularization of the CNS during embryonic development. Here, we used mice with targeted mutations in genes encoding canonical WNT pathway members to evaluate the exact contribution of these components in CNS vascular development and in specification of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-retina barrier (BRB). We determined that vasculature in various CNS regions is differentially sensitive to perturbations in canonical WNT signaling. The closely related WNT signaling coreceptors LDL receptor–related protein 5 (LRP5) and LRP6 had redundant functions in brain vascular development and barrier maintenance; however, loss of LRP5 alone dramatically altered development of the retinal vasculature. The BBB in the cerebellum and pons/interpeduncular nuclei was highly sensitive to decrements in canonical WNT signaling, and WNT signaling was required to maintain plasticity of barrier properties in mature CNS vasculature. Brain and retinal vascular defects resulting from ablation of Norrin/Frizzled4 signaling were ameliorated by stabilizing β-catenin, while inhibition of β-catenin–dependent transcription recapitulated the vascular development and barrier defects associated with loss of receptor, coreceptor, or ligand, indicating that Norrin/Frizzled4 signaling acts predominantly through β-catenin–dependent transcriptional regulation. Together, these data strongly support a model in which identical or nearly identical canonical WNT signaling mechanisms mediate neural tube and retinal vascularization and maintain the BBB and BRB.
Yulian Zhou, Yanshu Wang, Max Tischfield, John Williams, Philip M. Smallwood, Amir Rattner, Makoto M. Taketo, Jeremy Nathans
Schlemm canal (SC) is a specialized vascular structure in the eye that functions to drain aqueous humor from the intraocular chamber into systemic circulation. Dysfunction of SC has been proposed to underlie increased aqueous humor outflow (AHO) resistance, which leads to elevated ocular pressure, a factor for glaucoma development in humans. Here, using lymphatic and blood vasculature reporter mice, we determined that SC, which originates from blood vessels during the postnatal period, acquires lymphatic identity through upregulation of prospero homeobox protein 1 (PROX1), the master regulator of lymphatic development. SC expressed lymphatic valve markers FOXC2 and integrin α9 and exhibited continuous vascular endothelial–cadherin (VE-cadherin) junctions and basement membrane, similar to collecting lymphatics. SC notably lacked luminal valves and expression of the lymphatic endothelial cell markers podoplanin and lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1). Using an ocular puncture model, we determined that reduced AHO altered the fate of SC both during development and under pathologic conditions; however, alteration of VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling did not modulate SC integrity and identity. Intriguingly, PROX1 expression levels linearly correlated with SC functionality. For example, PROX1 expression was reduced or undetectable under pathogenic conditions and in deteriorated SCs. Collectively, our data indicate that PROX1 is an accurate and reliable biosensor of SC integrity and identity.
Dae-Young Park, Junyeop Lee, Intae Park, Dongwon Choi, Sunju Lee, Sukhyun Song, Yoonha Hwang, Ki Yong Hong, Yoshikazu Nakaoka, Taija Makinen, Pilhan Kim, Kari Alitalo, Young-Kwon Hong, Gou Young Koh
In glaucoma, aqueous outflow into the Schlemm’s canal (SC) is obstructed. Despite striking structural and functional similarities with the lymphatic vascular system, it is unknown whether the SC is a blood or lymphatic vessel. Here, we demonstrated the expression of lymphatic endothelial cell markers by the SC in murine and zebrafish models as well as in human eye tissue. The initial stages of SC development involved induction of the transcription factor PROX1 and the lymphangiogenic receptor tyrosine kinase VEGFR-3 in venous endothelial cells in postnatal mice. Using gene deletion and function-blocking antibodies in mice, we determined that the lymphangiogenic growth factor VEGF-C and its receptor, VEGFR-3, are essential for SC development. Delivery of VEGF-C into the adult eye resulted in sprouting, proliferation, and growth of SC endothelial cells, whereas VEGF-A obliterated the aqueous outflow system. Furthermore, a single injection of recombinant VEGF-C induced SC growth and was associated with trend toward a sustained decrease in intraocular pressure in adult mice. These results reveal the evolutionary conservation of the lymphatic-like phenotype of the SC, implicate VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 as critical regulators of SC lymphangiogenesis, and provide a basis for further studies on therapeutic manipulation of the SC with VEGF-C in glaucoma treatment.
Aleksanteri Aspelund, Tuomas Tammela, Salli Antila, Harri Nurmi, Veli-Matti Leppänen, Georgia Zarkada, Lukas Stanczuk, Mathias Francois, Taija Mäkinen, Pipsa Saharinen, Ilkka Immonen, Kari Alitalo
Activation and accumulation of cardiac fibroblasts, which result in excessive extracellular matrix deposition and consequent mechanical stiffness, myocyte uncoupling, and ischemia, are key contributors to heart failure progression. Recently, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) and the recruitment of circulating hematopoietic progenitors to the heart have been reported to generate substantial numbers of cardiac fibroblasts in response to pressure overload–induced injury; therefore, these processes are widely considered to be promising therapeutic targets. Here, using multiple independent murine Cre lines and a collagen1a1-
Thomas Moore-Morris, Nuno Guimarães-Camboa, Indroneal Banerjee, Alexander C. Zambon, Tatiana Kisseleva, Aurélie Velayoudon, William B. Stallcup, Yusu Gu, Nancy D. Dalton, Marta Cedenilla, Rafael Gomez-Amaro, Bin Zhou, David A. Brenner, Kirk L. Peterson, Ju Chen, Sylvia M. Evans
Autonomic sympathetic nerves innervate peripheral resistance arteries, thereby regulating vascular tone and controlling blood supply to organs. Despite the fundamental importance of blood flow control, how sympathetic arterial innervation develops remains largely unknown. Here, we identified the axon guidance cue netrin-1 as an essential factor required for development of arterial innervation in mice. Netrin-1 was produced by arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) at the onset of innervation, and arterial innervation required the interaction of netrin-1 with its receptor, deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), on sympathetic growth cones. Function-blocking approaches, including cell type–specific deletion of the genes encoding
Isabelle Brunet, Emma Gordon, Jinah Han, Brunella Cristofaro, Dong Broqueres-You, Chun Liu, Karine Bouvrée, Jiasheng Zhang, Raquel del Toro, Thomas Mathivet, Bruno Larrivée, Julia Jagu, Laurence Pibouin-Fragner, Luc Pardanaud, Maria J.C. Machado, Timothy E. Kennedy, Zhen Zhuang, Michael Simons, Bernard I. Levy, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Almut Grenz, Holger Eltzschig, Anne Eichmann
In atherosclerosis, plaques preferentially develop in arterial regions of disturbed blood flow (d-flow), which alters endothelial gene expression and function. Here, we determined that d-flow regulates genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in a DNA methyltransferase–dependent (DNMT-dependent) manner. Induction of d-flow by partial carotid ligation surgery in a murine model induced DNMT1 in arterial endothelium. In cultured endothelial cells, DNMT1 was enhanced by oscillatory shear stress (OS), and reduction of DNMT with either the inhibitor 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5Aza) or siRNA markedly reduced OS-induced endothelial inflammation. Moreover, administration of 5Aza reduced lesion formation in 2 mouse models of atherosclerosis. Using both reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) and microarray, we determined that d-flow in the carotid artery resulted in hypermethylation within the promoters of 11 mechanosensitive genes and that 5Aza treatment restored normal methylation patterns. Of the identified genes,
Jessilyn Dunn, Haiwei Qiu, Soyeon Kim, Daudi Jjingo, Ryan Hoffman, Chan Woo Kim, Inhwan Jang, Dong Ju Son, Daniel Kim, Chenyi Pan, Yuhong Fan, I. King Jordan, Hanjoong Jo
Acute exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution causes thrombotic cardiovascular events, leading to increased mortality rates; however, the link between PM and cardiovascular dysfunction is not completely understood. We have previously shown that the release of IL-6 from alveolar macrophages is required for a prothrombotic state and acceleration of thrombosis following exposure to PM. Here, we determined that PM exposure results in the systemic release of catecholamines, which engage the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) on murine alveolar macrophages and augment the release of IL-6. In mice, β2AR signaling promoted the development of a prothrombotic state that was sufficient to accelerate arterial thrombosis. In primary human alveolar macrophages, administration of a β2AR agonist augmented IL-6 release, while the addition of a beta blocker inhibited PM-induced IL-6 release. Genetic loss or pharmacologic inhibition of the β2AR on murine alveolar macrophages attenuated PM-induced IL-6 release and prothrombotic state. Furthermore, exogenous β2AR agonist therapy further augmented these responses in alveolar macrophages through generation of mitochondrial ROS and subsequent increase of adenylyl cyclase activity. Together, these results link the activation of the sympathetic nervous system by β2AR signaling with metabolism, lung inflammation, and an enhanced susceptibility to thrombotic cardiovascular events.
Sergio E. Chiarella, Saul Soberanes, Daniela Urich, Luisa Morales-Nebreda, Recep Nigdelioglu, David Green, James B. Young, Angel Gonzalez, Carmen Rosario, Alexander V. Misharin, Andrew J. Ghio, Richard G. Wunderink, Helen K. Donnelly, Kathryn A. Radigan, Harris Perlman, Navdeep S. Chandel, G.R. Scott Budinger, Gökhan M. Mutlu
Vascular malformations are linked to mutations in RAS p21 protein activator 1 (
Jun Kawasaki, Sandrine Aegerter, R. Dawn Fevurly, Akiko Mammoto, Tadanori Mammoto, Mustafa Sahin, John D. Mably, Steven J. Fishman, Joanne Chan
Genetic variation at the chromosome 9p21 risk locus promotes cardiovascular disease; however, it is unclear how or which proteins encoded at this locus contribute to disease. We have previously demonstrated that loss of one candidate gene at this locus, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B (
Yoko Kojima, Kelly Downing, Ramendra Kundu, Clint Miller, Frederick Dewey, Hope Lancero, Uwe Raaz, Ljubica Perisic, Ulf Hedin, Eric Schadt, Lars Maegdefessel, Tom Quertermous, Nicholas J. Leeper
High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death worldwide. One of the hallmarks is a rise of peripheral vascular resistance, which largely depends on arteriole tone. Ca2+-activated chloride currents (CaCCs) in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are candidates for increasing vascular contractility. We analyzed the vascular tree and identified substantial CaCCs in VSMCs of the aorta and carotid arteries. CaCCs were small or absent in VSMCs of medium-sized vessels such as mesenteric arteries and larger retinal arterioles. In small vessels of the retina, brain, and skeletal muscle, where contractile intermediate cells or pericytes gradually replace VSMCs, CaCCs were particularly large. Targeted disruption of the calcium-activated chloride channel TMEM16A, also known as ANO1, in VSMCs, intermediate cells, and pericytes eliminated CaCCs in all vessels studied. Mice lacking vascular TMEM16A had lower systemic blood pressure and a decreased hypertensive response following vasoconstrictor treatment. There was no difference in contractility of medium-sized mesenteric arteries; however, responsiveness of the aorta and small retinal arterioles to the vasoconstriction-inducing drug U46619 was reduced. TMEM16A also was required for peripheral blood vessel contractility, as the response to U46619 was attenuated in isolated perfused hind limbs from mutant mice. Out data suggest that TMEM16A plays a general role in arteriolar and capillary blood flow and is a promising target for the treatment of hypertension.
Christoph Heinze, Anika Seniuk, Maxim V. Sokolov, Antje K. Huebner, Agnieszka E. Klementowicz, István A. Szijártó, Johanna Schleifenbaum, Helga Vitzthum, Maik Gollasch, Heimo Ehmke, Björn C. Schroeder, Christian A. Hübner
Studies have established that pigmentation can provide strong, protective effects against certain human diseases. For example, angiogenesis-dependent diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration and infantile hemangioma are more common in light-skinned individuals of mixed European descent than in African-Americans. Here we found that melanocytes from light-skinned humans and albino mice secrete high levels of fibromodulin (FMOD), which we determined to be a potent angiogenic factor. FMOD treatment stimulated angiogenesis in numerous in vivo systems, including laser-induced choroidal neovascularization, growth factor–induced corneal neovascularization, wound healing, and Matrigel plug assays. Additionally, FMOD enhanced vascular sprouting during normal retinal development. Deletion of
Irit Adini, Kaustabh Ghosh, Avner Adini, Zai-Long Chi, Takeru Yoshimura, Ofra Benny, Kip M. Connor, Michael S. Rogers, Lauren Bazinet, Amy E. Birsner, Diane R. Bielenberg, Robert J. D’Amato