Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000)

Constitutive notch signaling in adult transgenic mice inhibits bFGF-induced angiogenesis and blocks ovarian follicle development.

PMID 24817584


Notch signaling is important in angiogenesis during embryonic development. However, the embryonic lethal phenotypes of knock-out and transgenic mice have precluded studies of the role of Notch post-natally. To develop a mouse model that would bypass the embryonic lethal phenotype and investigate the possible role of Notch signaling in adult vessel growth, we developed transgenic mice with Cre-conditional expression of the constitutively active intracellular domain of Notch1 (IC-Notch1). Double transgenic IC-Notch1/Tie2-Cre embryos with endothelial specific IC-Notch1 expression died at embryonic day 9.5. They displayed collapsed and leaky blood vessels and defects in angiogenesis development. A tetracycline-inducible system was used to express Cre recombinase postnatally in endothelial cells. In adult mice, IC-Notch1 expression inhibited bFGF-induced neovascularization and female mice lacked mature ovarian follicles, which may reflect the block in bFGF-induced angiogenesis required for follicle growth. Our results demonstrate that Notch signaling is important for both embryonic and adult angiogenesis and indicate that the Notch signaling pathway may be a useful target for angiogenic therapies.