Podoplanin and CLEC-2 drive cerebrovascular patterning and integrity during development.
Lowe KL., Finney BA., Deppermann C., Hägerling R., Gazit SL., Frampton J., Buckley C., Camerer E., Nieswandt B., Kiefer F., Watson SP.
Mice with a constitutive or platelet-specific deletion of the C-type-lectin-like receptor (CLEC-2) exhibit hemorrhaging in the brain at mid-gestation. We sought to investigate the basis of this defect, hypothesizing that it is mediated by the loss of CLEC-2 activation by its endogenous ligand, podoplanin, which is expressed on the developing neural tube. To induce deletion of podoplanin at the 2-cell stage, we generated a podoplanin(fl/fl) mouse crossed to a PGK-Cre mouse. Using 3-dimensional light-sheet microscopy, we observed cerebral vessels were tortuous and aberrantly patterned at embryonic (E) day 10.5 in podoplanin- and CLEC-2-deficient mice, preceding the formation of large hemorrhages throughout the fore-, mid-, and hindbrain by E11.5. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy revealed defective pericyte recruitment and misconnections between the endothelium of developing blood vessels and surrounding pericytes and neuro-epithelial cells. Nestin-Cre-driven deletion of podoplanin on neural progenitors also caused widespread cerebral hemorrhaging. Hemorrhaging was also seen in the ventricles of embryos deficient in the platelet integrin subunit glycoprotein IIb or in embryos in which platelet α-granule and dense granule secretion is abolished. We propose a novel role for podoplanin on the neuro-epithelium, which interacts with CLEC-2 on platelets, mediating platelet adhesion, aggregation, and secretion to guide the maturation and integrity of the developing vasculature and prevent hemorrhage.