Previous genetic lineage tracing studies showed that Sox10+ cells differentiate into vascular mural cells, limited to neural crest–derived blood vessels in craniofacial tissues, aortic arch, pulmonary arch arteries, brachiocephalic, carotid arteries, and thymus. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of Sox10+ cells to the vascular development in other tissues and organs and their relationship with neural crest.Approach and Results—
Using genetic lineage tracing technique based on Cre/LoxP system, we examined blood vessels in the adult organs of the mice expressing Sox10-Cre/Rosa-LoxP-red fluorescent protein or Wnt1-Cre/Rosa-LoxP-red fluorescent protein by immunohistological analysis. In addition to previously reported tissues and organs derived from neural crest, we showed that Sox10+ cells also contributed to vascular mural cells in the lung, spleen, and kidney, which are derived from non-neural crest origin as evidenced by red fluorescent protein-negative blood vessels in these 3 organs of Wnt1-Cre/Rosa-LoxP-red fluorescent protein mice.Conclusions—
This study demonstrates that Sox10+ cells contribute to pericytes and smooth muscle cells in most parts of the body, including those from neural crest and non-neural crest, which has significant implications in vascular remodeling under physiological and pathological conditions.