The American journal of pathology

Platelet-derived growth factor C deficiency in C57BL/6 mice leads to abnormal cerebral vascularization, loss of neuroependymal integrity, and ventricular abnormalities.

PMID 22230248


Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their tyrosine kinase receptors (PDGFRs) are known to play important roles during development of the lungs, central nervous system (CNS), and skeleton and in several diseases. PDGF-C is a ligand for the tyrosine kinase receptor PDGFRα. Mutations in the gene encoding PDGF-C have been linked to clefts of the lip and/or palate in humans, and ablation of PDGF-C in 129/Sv background mice results in death during the perinatal period. In this study, we report that ablation of PDGF-C in C57BL/6 mice results in a milder phenotype than in 129/Sv mice, and we present a phenotypic characterization of PDGF-C deficiency in the adult murine CNS. Multiple congenital defects were observed in the CNS of PDGF-C-null C57BL/6 mice, including cerebral vascular abnormalities with abnormal vascular smooth muscle cell coverage. In vivo imaging of mice deficient in PDGF-C also revealed cerebral ventricular abnormalities, such as asymmetry of the lateral ventricles and hypoplasia of the septum, reminiscent of cavum septum pellucidum in humans. We further noted that PDGF-C-deficient mice displayed a distorted ependymal lining of the lateral ventricles, and we found evidence of misplaced neurons in the ventricular lining. We conclude that PDGF-C plays a critical role in the development of normal cerebral ventricles and neuroependymal integrity as well as in normal cerebral vascularization.