Vascular remodeling of the mouse yolk sac requires hemodynamic force
Lucitti, Jennifer L * Jones, Elizabeth * Huang, Chengqun Chen, Ju Fraser, Scott E Dickinson, Mary E # ×
Company of Biologists
Development vol:134 issue:18 pages:3317-26
The embryonic heart and vessels are dynamic and form and remodel while functional. Much has been learned about the genetic mechanisms underlying the development of the cardiovascular system, but we are just beginning to understand how changes in heart and vessel structure are influenced by hemodynamic forces such as shear stress. Recent work has shown that vessel remodeling in the mouse yolk sac is secondarily effected when cardiac function is reduced or absent. These findings indicate that proper circulation is required for vessel remodeling, but have not defined whether the role of circulation is to provide mechanical cues, to deliver oxygen or to circulate signaling molecules. Here, we used time-lapse confocal microscopy to determine the role of fluid-derived forces in vessel remodeling in the developing murine yolk sac. Novel methods were used to characterize flows in normal embryos and in embryos with impaired contractility (Mlc2a(-/-)). We found abnormal plasma and erythroblast circulation in these embryos, which led us to hypothesize that the entry of erythroblasts into circulation is a key event in triggering vessel remodeling. We tested this by sequestering erythroblasts in the blood islands, thereby lowering the hematocrit and reducing shear stress, and found that vessel remodeling and the expression of eNOS (Nos3) depends on erythroblast flow. Further, we rescued remodeling defects and eNOS expression in low-hematocrit embryos by restoring the viscosity of the blood. These data show that hemodynamic force is necessary and sufficient to induce vessel remodeling in the mammalian yolk sac.