Sonic hedgehog is required for vascular outgrowth in the hindbrain choroid plexus

  • Nielsen C
  • Dymecki S
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Critical to the exchange and metabolic functions served by tissues like brain choroid plexi and lung is the coherent development of an epithelial sheet of large surface area in tight apposition to an extensive vascular bed. Here, we present functional experiments in the mouse demonstrating that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) produced by hindbrain choroid plexus epithelium induces the extensive vascular outgrowths and vascular surface area fundamental to choroid plexus functions, but does not induce the more specialized endothelial cell features of fenestrations and bore size. Our findings indicate that these Shh-dependent vascular elaborations occur even in the presence of Vegf and other established angiogenic factors, suggesting either that the levels of these factors are inadequate in the absence of Shh or that a different set of factors may be more essential to choroid plexus outgrowth. Transducing the Shh signal is a perivascular cell-the pericyte-rather than the more integral vascular endothelial cell itself. Moreover, our findings suggest that hindbrain choroid plexus endothelial cells, as compared to other vascular endothelial cells, are more dependent upon pericytes for instruction. Thus, in addition to Shh acting on the progenitor pool for choroid plexus epithelial cells, as previously shown, it also acts on choroid plexus pericytes, and together serves the important role of coordinating the development of two disparate yet functionally dependent structures-the choroid plexus vasculature and its ensheathing epithelium. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Choroid plexus
  • Hindbrain
  • Pericyte
  • Sonic hedgehog
  • Vegf

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  • Corinne M. Nielsen

  • Susan M. Dymecki

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