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NCK1/2 are specific mediators of migration in Pericytes and promising targets in ischemic retinopathies

Künzel, Steffen Emil

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The particular focus of my dissertation is on pericytes which are mural cells that surround capillaries and control angiogenesis and capillary barrier function. I investigate endothelial cell-derived platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGF-B) signaling during sprouting angiogenesis in health and disease. With this, I show that “activated” α-SMA-expressing pericytes cover angiogenic sprouts and pathological neovascular tufts (NVTs) in a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. By genetic lineage tracing experiments, this work demonstrates that pericytes acquire α-SMA expression during pathological NVT formation. Pericyte depletion through inducible endothelial-specific knockout of the ligand Pdgf-b decreases this NVT formation, but also impairs revascularization. Moreover, I demonstrate that loss of Nck1 and Nck2 in mural cells prevents NVT formation and vascular leakage and promotes revascularization, suggesting NCK signaling as a potential target for the treatment of retinopathies.

Document type: Dissertation
Supervisor: Augustin, Prof. Dr. Hellmut
Place of Publication: Heidelberg
Date of thesis defense: 10 March 2022
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 11:44
Date: 2022
Faculties / Institutes: Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim > Zentrum für Biomedizin und Medizintechnik (CBTM)
DDC-classification: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
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