miR-30a Regulates Endothelial Tip Cell Formation and Arteriolar Branching

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Microvascular rarefaction increases vascular resistance and pressure in systemic arteries and is a hallmark of fixed essential hypertension. Preventing rarefaction by activation of angiogenic processes could lower blood pressure. Endothelial tip cells in angiogenic sprouts direct branching of microvascular networks; the process is regulated by microRNAs, particularly the miR-30 family. We investigated the contribution of miR-30 family members in arteriolar branching morphogenesis via delta-like 4 (Dll4)-Notch signaling in a zebrafish model. The miR-30 family consists of 5 members (miR-30a-e). Loss-of-function experiments showed that only miR-30a reduced growth of intersegmental arterioles involving impaired tip cell function. Overexpression of miR-30a stimulated tip cell behavior resulting in augmented branching of intersegmental arterioles. In vitro and in vivo reporter assays showed that miR-30a directly targets the Notch ligand Dll4, a key inhibitor of tip cell formation. Coadministration of a Dll4 targeting morpholino in miR-30a morphants rescued the branching defects. Conversely, conditional overexpression of Notch intracellular domain restored arteriolar branching in miR-30a gain-of-function embryos. In human endothelial cells, loss of miR-30a increased DLL4 protein levels, activated Notch signaling as indicated in Notch reporter assays, and augmented Notch downstream effector, HEY2 and EFNB2 (ephrin-B2), expression. In spheroid assays, miR-30a loss- and gain-of-function affected tip cell behavior, consistent with miR-30a targeting Dll4. Our data suggest that miR-30a stimulates arteriolar branching by downregulating endothelial Dll4 expression, thereby controlling endothelial tip cell behavior. These findings could have relevance to the rarefaction process and, therefore, to hypertension.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles