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      Embryonic vascular endothelial cells are malleable to reprogramming via Prox1 to a lymphatic gene signature

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          Abstract

          Background

          In vivo studies demonstrate that the Prox1 transcription factor plays a critical role in the development of the early lymphatic system. Upon Prox1 expression, early lymphatic endothelial cells differentiate from the cardinal vein and begin to express lymphatic markers such as VEGFR-3, LYVE-1 and Podoplanin. Subsequent in vitro studies have found that differentiated vascular endothelial cells can be reprogrammed by Prox1 to express a lymphatic gene profile, suggesting that Prox1 can initiate the expression of a unique gene signature during lymphangiogenesis. While the in vitro data suggest that gene reprogramming occurs upon Prox1 expression, it is not clear if this is a direct result of Prox1 in vascular endothelial cells in vivo.

          Results

          Overexpression of Prox1 in vascular endothelial cells during embryonic development results in the reprogramming of genes to that of a more lymphatic signature. Consequent to this overexpression, embryos suffer from gross edema that results in embryonic lethality at E13.5. Furthermore, hemorrhaging and anemia is apparent along with clear defects in lymph sac development. Alterations in junctional proteins resulting in an increase in vascular permeability upon Prox1 overexpression may contribute to the complications found during embryonic development.

          Conclusion

          We present a novel mouse model that addresses the importance of Prox1 in early embryonic lymphangiogenesis. It is clear that there needs to be a measured pattern of expression of Prox1 during embryonic development. Furthermore, Prox1 reprograms vascular endothelial cells in vivo by creating a molecular signature to that of a lymphatic endothelial cell.

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          Most cited references16

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          JAM-A regulates permeability and inflammation in the intestine in vivo

          Recent evidence has linked intestinal permeability to mucosal inflammation, but molecular studies are lacking. Candidate regulatory molecules localized within the tight junction (TJ) include Junctional Adhesion Molecule (JAM-A), which has been implicated in the regulation of barrier function and leukocyte migration. Thus, we analyzed the intestinal mucosa of JAM-A–deficient (JAM-A−/−) mice for evidence of enhanced permeability and inflammation. Colonic mucosa from JAM-A−/− mice had normal epithelial architecture but increased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and large lymphoid aggregates not seen in wild-type controls. Barrier function experiments revealed increased mucosal permeability, as indicated by enhanced dextran flux, and decreased transepithelial electrical resistance in JAM-A−/− mice. The in vivo observations were epithelial specific, because monolayers of JAM-A−/− epithelial cells also demonstrated increased permeability. Analyses of other TJ components revealed increased expression of claudin-10 and -15 in the colonic mucosa of JAM-A−/− mice and in JAM-A small interfering RNA–treated epithelial cells. Given the observed increase in colonic inflammation and permeability, we assessed the susceptibility of JAM-A−/− mice to the induction of colitis with dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Although DSS-treated JAM-A−/− animals had increased clinical disease compared with controls, colonic mucosa showed less injury and increased epithelial proliferation. These findings demonstrate a complex role of JAM-A in intestinal homeostasis by regulating epithelial permeability, inflammation, and proliferation.
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            Lymphatic vascular defects promoted by Prox1 haploinsufficiency cause adult-onset obesity.

            Multiple organs cooperate to regulate appetite, metabolism, and glucose and fatty acid homeostasis. Here, we identified and characterized lymphatic vasculature dysfunction as a cause of adult-onset obesity. We found that functional inactivation of a single allele of the homeobox gene Prox1 led to adult-onset obesity due to abnormal lymph leakage from mispatterned and ruptured lymphatic vessels. Prox1 heterozygous mice are a new model for adult-onset obesity and lymphatic vascular disease.
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              T1alpha/podoplanin deficiency disrupts normal lymphatic vasculature formation and causes lymphedema.

              Within the vascular system, the mucin-type transmembrane glycoprotein T1alpha/podoplanin is predominantly expressed by lymphatic endothelium, and recent studies have shown that it is regulated by the lymphatic-specific homeobox gene Prox1. In this study, we examined the role of T1alpha/podoplanin in vascular development and the effects of gene disruption in mice. T1alpha/podoplanin is first expressed at around E11.0 in Prox1-positive lymphatic progenitor cells, with predominant localization in the luminal plasma membrane of lymphatic endothelial cells during later development. T1alpha/podoplanin(-/-) mice die at birth due to respiratory failure and have defects in lymphatic, but not blood vessel pattern formation. These defects are associated with diminished lymphatic transport, congenital lymphedema and dilation of lymphatic vessels. T1alpha/podoplanin is also expressed in the basal epidermis of newborn wild-type mice, but gene disruption did not alter epidermal differentiation. Studies in cultured endothelial cells indicate that T1alpha/podoplanin promotes cell adhesion, migration and tube formation, whereas small interfering RNA-mediated inhibition of T1alpha/podoplanin expression decreased lymphatic endothelial cell adhesion. These data identify T1alpha/podoplanin as a novel critical player that regulates different key aspects of lymphatic vasculature formation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Dev Biol
                BMC Developmental Biology
                BioMed Central
                1471-213X
                2010
                28 June 2010
                : 10
                : 72
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Sunnybrook Research Institute University of Toronto 2075 Bayview Avenue Toronto, Ontario, M4N 3M5, Canada
                [2 ]Biomedicum Helsinki Haartman Institute PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8) FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
                [3 ]Division of Experimental Oncology CePO, CHUV and University of Lausanne 155, Chemin des Boveresses CH-1066 Epalinges Switzerland
                Article
                1471-213X-10-72
                10.1186/1471-213X-10-72
                2909156
                20584329
                d89c5bec-1116-4663-98aa-31a0e1714a77
                Copyright ©2010 Kim et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Developmental biology
                Developmental biology

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