Thyroid follicle development requires Smad1/Smad5- and endothelial-dependent basement membrane assembly
Villacorte, Mylah × Delmarcelle, Anne-Sophie Lernoux, Manon Bouquet, Mahé Lemoine, Pascale Bolsée, Jennifer Umans, Lieve de Sousa Lopes, Susana Chuva Van Der Smissen, Patrick Sasaki, Takako Bommer, Guido Henriet, Patrick Refetoff, Samuel Lemaigre, Frédéric P Zwijsen, An Courtoy, Pierre J Pierreux, Christophe E #
Company of Biologists
Development vol:143 issue:11
Thyroid follicles, the functional units of the thyroid gland, are delineated by a monolayer of thyrocytes resting on a continuous basement membrane. Developmental mechanisms whereby follicles are formed by reorganization of a non-structured mass of non-polarized epithelial cells (folliculogenesis) largely unknown. Here we show that assembly of the epithelial basement membrane is critical for folliculogenesis and is controlled by endothelial cell invasion and by BMP-Smad signaling in thyrocytes. Thyroid-specific double Smad1 and Smad5 knockout mice (Smad1/5(dKO)) displayed growth retardation, hypothyroidism and defective follicular architecture. In Smad1/5(dKO)embryonic thyroids, epithelial cells remained associated in large clusters and formed small follicles. Although similar follicular defects are found in Vegfa(KO)thyroids, Smad1/5(dKO)thyroids had normal endothelial cell density yet impaired endothelial differentiation. Interestingly, both Vegfa(KO)and Smad1/5(dKO)thyroids displayed impaired basement membrane assembly. Furthemore, conditioned medium (CM) from embryonic endothelial progenitor cells (eEPC) rescued the folliculogenic defects of both Smad1/5(dKO)and Vegfa(KO)thyroids. Laminin α1β1γ1, abundantly released by eEPC into CM, was critically required for folliculogenesis. Thus, epithelial Smad signaling and endothelial cell invasion promote folliculogenesis via assembly of the basement membrane.