ABSTRACT: Sprouting angiogenesis expands the embryonic vasculature enabling survival and homeostasis. Yet how the angiogenic capacity to form sprouts is allocated among endothelial cells (ECs) to guarantee the reproducible anatomy of stereotypical vascular beds remains unclear. Here we show that Sema-PlxnD1 signaling, previously implicated in sprout guidance, represses angiogenic potential to ensure the proper abundance and stereotypical distribution of the trunk's segmental arteries (SeAs). We find that Sema-PlxnD1 signaling exerts this effect by antagonizing the proangiogenic activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Specifically, Sema-PlxnD1 signaling ensures the proper endothelial abundance of soluble flt1 (sflt1), an alternatively spliced form of the VEGF receptor Flt1 encoding a potent secreted decoy. Hence, Sema-PlxnD1 signaling regulates distinct but related aspects of angiogenesis: the spatial allocation of angiogenic capacity within a primary vessel and sprout guidance.
Developmental cell 08/2011; 21(2):301-14. · 13.36 Impact Factor