AuthorMoran, Carlos M.
AdvisorKrieg, Paul A.
Committee ChairKrieg, Paul A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDuring embryonic vasculogenesis, endothelial cells form in the mesoderm , assemble into cord-like structures and then undergo tube formation. Previous studies have shown that signaling by members of the hedgehog family of secreted growth factors is essential for normal development of embryonic blood vessels. Embryos lacking hedgehog function show the presence of abundant endothelial cells but the cells fail to assemble into vascular cords and lumenized endothelial tubes do not form. At present it is not known whether active hedgehog signaling is required for both cord and tube formation or only for the initial step. To address this question, we have used small molecule inhibitors and agonists to the alter activity of the hedgehog signaling pathway in the chick embryo. If development is allowed to proceed until endothelial cells of the future dorsal aortae have assembled into cords, subsequent inhibition of hedgehog signaling, using cyclopamine, does not prevent aortal cells from forming endothelial tubes, however, it does lead to a reduction in cross sectional area of the aorta and to a loss of density of the adjacent vascular plexus. In contrast, activation of the hedgehog pathway with SAG leads to formation of enlarged aortae and increased density of the plexus. Very little, if any, of the observed effects are due to differences in number of endothelial cells in the treated embryos. Examination of endothelial cells during vascular plexus formation shows that inhibition of hedgehog signaling with cyclopamine inhibits formation of filopodia while treatment with SAG increases the number of filopodial extensions. These studies show that hedgehog signaling levels must be tightly regulated for normal vascular patterning to be achieved.
Degree ProgramCell Biology & Anatomy