Transcription Profiling of Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-B-Deficient Mouse Embryos Identifies RGS5 as a Novel Marker for Pericytes and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells

University of Gothenburg, Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 04/2003; 162(3):721-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63868-0
Source: PubMed


All blood capillaries consist of endothelial tubes surrounded by mural cells referred to as pericytes. The origin, recruitment, and function of the pericytes is poorly understood, but the importance of these cells is underscored by the severe cardiovascular defects in mice genetically devoid of factors regulating pericyte recruitment to embryonic vessels, and by the association between pericyte loss and microangiopathy in diabetes mellitus. A general problem in the study of pericytes is the shortage of markers for these cells. To identify new markers for pericytes, we have taken advantage of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-B knockout mouse model, in which developing blood vessels in the central nervous system are almost completely devoid of pericytes. Using cDNA microarrays, we analyzed the gene expression in PDGF-B null embryos in comparison with corresponding wild-type embryos and searched for down-regulated genes. The most down-regulated gene present on our microarray was RGS5, a member of the RGS family of GTPase-activating proteins for G proteins. In situ hybridization identified RGS5 expression in brain pericytes, and in pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells in certain other, but not all, locations. Absence of RGS5 expression in PDGF-B and PDGFR beta-null embryos correlated with pericyte loss in these mice. Residual RGS5 expression in rare pericytes suggested that RGS5 is a pericyte marker expressed independently of PDGF-B/R beta signaling. With RGS5 as a proof-of-principle, our data demonstrate the usefulness of microarray analysis of mouse models for abnormal pericyte development in the identification of new pericyte-specific markers.

    • "[3,13–15,87] to wild types. This correlates with the typical phenotype of these knockout animals who have been shown to lack pericyte coverage of their vasculature [17]. Although a wide range of markers is currently available for pericyte detection, studies have still been hampered by the great heterogeneity in the expression of pericyte markers. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pericytes are perivascular cells that can be distinguished from vascular smooth muscle cells by their specific morphology and expression of distinct molecular markers. Found in the microvascular beds distributed throughout the body, they are well known for their regulation of a healthy vasculature. In this review, we examine the mechanism of pericyte support to vasomotion, and the known pathways that regulate pericyte response in angiogenesis and neovascular stabilization. We will also discuss the role of pericytes in vascular basement membrane and endothelial barrier function regulation. In contrast, recent findings have indicated that pericyte dysfunction, characterized by changes in pericyte contractility or pericyte loss of microvascular coverage, plays an important role in onset and progression of vascular-related and fibrogenic diseases. From a therapeutic point of view, pericytes have recently been identified as a putative pool of endogenous mesenchymal stem cells that could be activated in response to tissue injury to contribute to the regenerative process on multiple levels. We will discuss the mechanisms via which pericytes are involved in disease onset and development in a number of pathophysiological conditions, as well as present the evidence that supports a role for multipotent pericytes in tissue regeneration. The emerging field of pericyte research will not only contribute to the identification of new drug targets in pericyte dysfunction associated diseases, but may also boost the use of this cell type in future cell-based regenerative strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · International journal of cardiology
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    • "We track the fate of RGS5+ pericytes in response to focal ischemic brain injury using a knock-out/knock-in mouse strain where GFP is expressed from the Rgs5 locus. We confirm previous findings showing that RGS5 is a marker specific for pericytes [8, 10], and thus selectively labels this cell type [39]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pericytes are located on the abluminal side of endothelial cells lining the microvasculature in all organs. They have been identified as multipotent progenitor cells in several tissues of the body including the human brain. New evidence suggests that pericytes contribute to tissue repair, but their role in the injured brain is largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of pericytes in ischemic stroke. Using a pericyte-reporter mouse model, we provide unique evidence that regulator of G-protein signaling 5 expressing cells are activated pericytes that leave the blood vessel wall, proliferate and give rise to microglial cells after ischemic brain injury. Consistently, we show that activated pericytes express microglial markers in human stroke brain tissue. We demonstrate that human brain-derived pericytes adopt a microglial phenotype and upregulate mRNA specific for activated microglial cells under hypoxic conditions in vitro. Our study indicates that the vasculature is a novel source of inflammatory cells with a microglial phenotype in brain ischemia and hence identifies pericytes as an important new target for the development of future stroke therapies.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Acta Neuropathologica
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    • "[26] Rgs5 is downregulated in pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells of Pdgf null mice. [30] The maturation–dependent upregulation of this DA-enriched gene in the newborn was not categorized in the fetal cohort. [19] Recently it was shown that the homogeneous Rgs5 expression in the aorta of neonatal mice changed into a mosaic pattern in adult animals. "
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    ABSTRACT: Closure of the ductus arteriosus (DA) is a crucial step in the transition from fetal to postnatal life. Patent DA is one of the most common cardiovascular anomalies in children with significant clinical consequences especially in premature infants. We aimed to identify genes that specify the DA in the fetus and differentiate it from the aorta. Comparative microarray analysis of laser-captured microdissected endothelial (ECs) and vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) from the DA and aorta of fetal rats (embryonic day 18 and 21) identified vessel-specific transcriptional profiles. We found a strong age-dependency of gene expression. Among the genes that were upregulated in the DA the regulator of the G-protein coupled receptor 5 (Rgs5) and the transcription factor distal-less homeobox 1 (Dlx1) exhibited the highest and most significant level of differential expression. The aorta showed a significant preferential expression of the Purkinje cell protein 4 (Pcp4) gene. The results of the microarray analysis were validated by real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. Our study confirms vessel-specific transcriptional profiles in ECs and SMCs of rat DA and aorta. Rgs5 and Dlx1 represent novel molecular targets for the regulation of DA maturation and closure.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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