Attenuation of retinal vascular development and neovascularization in PECAM-1-deficient mice.

PubMed ID: 18206868

Author(s): Dimaio TA, Wang S, Huang Q, Scheef EA, Sorenson CM, Sheibani N. Attenuation of retinal vascular development and neovascularization in PECAM-1-deficient mice. Dev Biol. 2008 Mar 1;315(1):72-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.12.008. Epub 2008 Jan 22. PMID 18206868

Journal: Developmental Biology, Volume 315, Issue 1, Mar 2008

Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1/CD31) is expressed on the surface of endothelial cells (EC) at high levels with important roles in angiogenesis and inflammation. However, the physiological role PECAM-1 plays during vascular development and angiogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we determined the role of PECAM-1 in the postnatal development of retinal vasculature and retinal neovascularization during oxygen-induced ischemic retinopathy (OIR) using PECAM-1-deficient (PECAM-1-/-) mice. A significant decrease in retinal vascular density was observed in PECAM-1-/- mice compared with PECAM-1+/+ mice. This was attributed to a decreased number of EC in the retinas of PECAM-1-/- mice. An increase in the rate of apoptosis was observed in retinal vessels of PECAM-1-/- mice, which was compensated, in part, by an increase in the rate of proliferation. However, the development and regression of hyaloid vasculature were not affected in the absence of PECAM-1. We did not observe a significant defect in astrocytes, the number of endothelial tip cell filopodias, and the rate of developing retinal vasculature progression in PECAM-1-/- mice. However, we observed aberrant organization of arterioles and venules, decreased secondary branching, and dilated vessels in retinal vasculature of PECAM-1-/- mice. In addition, retinal neovascularization was attenuated in PECAM-1-/- mice during OIR despite an expression of VEGF similar to that of PECAM-1+/+ mice. Mechanistically, these changes were associated with an increase in EphB4 and ephrin B2, and a decrease in eNOS, expression in retinal vasculature of PECAM-1-/- mice. These results suggest that PECAM-1 expression and its potential interactions with EphB4/ephrin B2 and eNOS are important for survival, migration, and functional organization of EC during retinal vascular development and angiogenesis.