Lymphatic vessels are essential to regulate interstitial fluid homeostasis and diverse immune responses. A number of crucial factors, such as VEGFC, SOX18, PROX1, FOX2C, and GJC2, have been implicated in differentiation and/or maintenance of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs). In humans, dysregulation of these genes is known to cause lymphedema, a debilitating condition which adversely impacts the quality of life of affected individuals. However, there are no currently available pharmacological treatments for lymphedema, necessitating identification of additional factors modulating lymphatic development and function which can be targeted for therapy. In this report, we investigate the function of genes associated with Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling in lymphatic development using zebrafish embryos. The knock-down of BMP type II receptors, Bmpr2a and Bmpr2b, and type I receptors, Alk3 and Alk3b, as well as SMAD5, an essential cellular mediator of BMP signaling, led to distinct lymphatic defects in developing zebrafish. Therefore, it appears that each constituent of the BMP signaling pathway may have a unique function during lymphatic development. Taken together, our data demonstrate that BMP signaling is essential for normal lymphatic vessel development in zebrafish.
- Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signal
- Lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC)
- Lymphatic vessel development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology