Adrenomedullin signaling is necessary for murine lymphatic vascular development

Fritz-Six KL, Dunworth WP, Li M, Caron KM
Source: J Clin Invest
Publication Date: (2008)
Issue: 118(1): 40-50
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, umbilical vein, human (HUVEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: vein
Endothelial, MV dermal (HMVEC-d), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: dermal
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
The lymphatic vascular system mediates fluid homeostasis, immune defense, and tumor metastasis. Only a handful of genes are known to affect the development of the lymphatic vasculature, and even fewer represent therapeutic targets for lymphatic diseases. Adrenomedullin (AM) is a multifunctional peptide vasodilator that transduces its effects through the calcitonin receptor-like receptor (calcrl) when the receptor is associated with a receptor activity-modifying protein (RAMP2). Here we report on the involvement of these genes in lymphangiogenesis. AM-, calcrl-, or RAMP2-null mice died mid-gestation after development of interstitial lymphedema. This conserved phenotype provided in vivo evidence that these components were required for AM signaling during embryogenesis. A conditional knockout line with loss of calcrl in endothelial cells confirmed an essential role for AM signaling in vascular development. Loss of AM signaling resulted in abnormal jugular lymphatic vessels due to reduction in lymphatic endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, AM caused enhanced activation of ERK signaling in human lymphatic versus blood endothelial cells, likely due to induction of CALCRL gene expression by the lymphatic transcriptional regulator Prox1. Collectively, our studies identify a class of genes involved in lymphangiogenesis that represent a pharmacologically tractable system for the treatment of lymphedema or inhibition of tumor metastasis.