Notch1 activation in mice causes arteriovenous malformations phenocopied by ephrinB2 and EphB4 mutants.

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Arteriovenous-Malformations, Embryo-Mammalian, Ephrin-B2, Immunohistochemistry, Mice-Knockout, Phenotype, Receptor-EphB4, Receptor-Notch1, Signal-Transduction

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Genesis 2010 Mar; 48(3):146-50.


Notch signaling is essential for embryonic vascular development in mammals and other vertebrates. Here we show that mouse embryos with conditional activation of the Notch1 gene in endothelial cells (Notch1 gain of function embryos) exhibit defects in vascular remodeling increased diameter of the dorsal aortae, and form arteriovenous malformations. Conversely, embryos with either constitutive or endothelial cell-specific Notch1 gene deletion also have vascular defects, but exhibit decreased diameter of the dorsal aortae and form arteriovenous malformations distinctly different from the Notch1 gain of function mutants. Surprisingly, embryos homozygous for mutations of the ephrinB/EphB pathway genes Efnb2 and Ephb4 exhibit vascular defects and arteriovenous malformations that phenocopy the Notch1 gain of function mutants. These results suggest that formation of arteriovenous malformations in Notch1 gain of function mutants and ephrinB/EphB pathway loss of function mutant embryos occurs by different mechanisms.