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Vascular endothelial growth factor-dependent angiogenesis and dynamic vascular plasticity in the sensory circumventricular organs of adult mouse brain.

Cell and tissue research (2015-01-13)
Shoko Morita, Eriko Furube, Tetsuya Mannari, Hiroaki Okuda, Kouko Tatsumi, Akio Wanaka, Seiji Miyata
ABSTRACT

The sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs), which comprise the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), the subfornical organ (SFO) and the area postrema (AP), lack a typical blood-brain barrier (BBB) and monitor directly blood-derived information to regulate body fluid homeostasis, inflammation, feeding and vomiting. Until now, almost nothing has been documented about vascular features of the sensory CVOs except fenestration of vascular endothelial cells. We therefore examine whether continuous angiogenesis occurs in the sensory CVOs of adult mouse. The angiogenesis-inducing factor vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and the VEGF-A-regulating transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α were highly expressed in neurons of the OVLT and SFO and in both neurons and astrocytes of the AP. Expression of the pericyte-regulating factor platelet-derived growth factor B was high in astrocytes of the sensory CVOs. Immunohistochemistry of bromodeoxyuridine and Ki-67, a nuclear protein that is associated with cellular proliferation, revealed active proliferation of endothelial cells. Moreover, immunohistochemistry of caspase-3 and the basement membrane marker laminin showed the presence of apoptosis and sprouting of endothelial cells, respectively. Treatment with the VEGF receptor-associated tyrosine kinase inhibitor AZD2171 significantly reduced proliferation and filopodia sprouting of endothelial cells, as well as the area and diameter of microvessels. The mitotic inhibitor cytosine-b-D-arabinofuranoside reduced proliferation of endothelial cells and the vascular permeability of blood-derived low-molecular-weight molecules without changing vascular area and microvessel diameter. Thus, our data indicate that continuous angiogenesis is dependent on VEGF signaling and responsible for the dynamic plasticity of vascular structure and permeability.

MATERIALS
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