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Tissue macrophages act as cellular chaperones for vascular anastomosis downstream of VEGF-mediated endothelial tip cell induction


Fantin, Alessandro; Vieira, Joaquim M; Gestri, Gaia; Denti, Laura; Schwarz, Quenten; Prykhozhij, Sergey; Peri, Francesca; Wilson, Stephen W; Ruhrberg, Christiana (2010). Tissue macrophages act as cellular chaperones for vascular anastomosis downstream of VEGF-mediated endothelial tip cell induction. Blood, 116(5):829-840.

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.

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.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:5 August 2010
Deposited On:19 Feb 2020 17:03
Last Modified:19 Feb 2020 17:05
Publisher:American Society of Hematology
ISSN:0006-4971
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-12-257832
PubMed ID:20404134

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