|Title||In vivo manipulation of the extracellular matrix induces vascular regression in a basal chordate|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Rodriguez D, Braden BP, Boyer SW, Taketa DA, Setar L, Calhoun C, Di Maio A, Langenbacher A, Valentine MT, De Tomaso AW|
|Journal||Molecular Biology of the Cell|
We investigated the physical role of the extracellular matrix in vascular homeostasis in the basal chordate Botryllus schlosseri, which has a large, transparent extracorporeal vascular network encompassing areas >100 cm2. We found that the collagen crosslinking enzyme lysyl oxidase is expressed in all vascular cells, and that in vivo inhibition using ß-aminopropionitrile (BAPN) caused a rapid, global regression of the entire network, with some vessels regressing >10 mm within 16 hours. BAPN treatment changed the ultrastructure of collagen fibers in the vessel basement membrane, and the kinetics of regression were dose-dependent. Pharmacological inhibition of both focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Raf also induced regression, and levels of phosphorylated FAK in vascular cells decreased during BAPN treatment and FAK inhibition, but not Raf inhibition, suggesting that physical changes in the vessel ECM are detected via canonical integrin signaling pathways. Regression is driven by apoptosis and extrusion of cells through the basal lamina, which are then engulfed by blood-borne phagocytes. Extrusion and regression occurred in a coordinated manner that maintained vessel integrity, with no loss of barrier function. This suggests the presence of regulatory mechanisms linking physical changes to a homeostatic, tissue level response.