1. Developmental Biology
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Low Wnt/β-catenin signaling determines leaky vessels in the subfornical organ and affects water homeostasis in mice

  1. Fabienne Benz
  2. Viraya Wichitnaowarat
  3. Martin Lehmann
  4. Raoul F V Germano
  5. Diana Mihova
  6. Jadranka Macas
  7. Ralf H Adams
  8. M Mark Taketo
  9. Sylvaine Guérit
  10. Karl-Heinz Plate
  11. Benoit Vanhollebeke
  12. Stefan Liebner  Is a corresponding author
  1. University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany
  2. Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  3. Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Germany
  4. Kyoto University, Japan
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e43818 doi: 10.7554/eLife.43818

Abstract

The circumventricular organs (CVOs) in the central nervous system (CNS) lack a vascular blood-brain barrier (BBB), creating communication sites for sensory or secretory neurons, involved in body homeostasis. Wnt/β-catenin signaling is essential for BBB development and maintenance in endothelial cells (ECs) in most CNS vessels. Here we show that in mouse development, as well as in adult mouse and zebrafish, CVO ECs rendered Wnt-reporter negative, suggesting low level pathway activity. Characterization of the subfornical organ (SFO) vasculature revealed heterogenous claudin-5 (Cldn5) and Plvap/Meca32 expression indicative for tight and leaky vessels, respectively. Dominant, EC-specific β-catenin transcription in mice, converted phenotypically leaky into BBB-like vessels, by augmenting Cldn5+ vessels, stabilizing junctions and by reducing Plvap/Meca32+ and fenestrated vessels, resulting in decreased tracer permeability. Endothelial tightening augmented neuronal activity in the SFO of water restricted mice. Hence, regulating the SFO vessel barrier may influence neuronal function in the context of water homeostasis.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Fabienne Benz

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Viraya Wichitnaowarat

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Martin Lehmann

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Raoul F V Germano

    Laboratory of Neurovascular Signaling, Department of Molecular Biology, Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-1247-0689
  5. Diana Mihova

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Jadranka Macas

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Ralf H Adams

    Department of Tissue Morphogenesis, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3031-7677
  8. M Mark Taketo

    Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Sylvaine Guérit

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Karl-Heinz Plate

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Benoit Vanhollebeke

    Laboratory of Neurovascular Signaling, Department of Molecular Biology, Université libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0353-365X
  12. Stefan Liebner

    Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    For correspondence
    stefan.liebner@kgu.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4656-2258

Funding

Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (BtRAIN)

  • Raoul F V Germano
  • Benoit Vanhollebeke
  • Stefan Liebner

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (LI 911/5-1)

  • Fabienne Benz
  • Ralf H Adams
  • Sylvaine Guérit
  • Stefan Liebner

Landes-Offensive zur Entwicklung Wissenschaftlich- ökonomischer Exzellenz Program of the Center for Personalized Translational Epilepsy Research (TP8)

  • Stefan Liebner

Goethe University Frankfurt - Line A

  • Sylvaine Guérit

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: Animals were housed under standard conditions and fed ad libitum. All experimental protocols, handling and use of mice were approved by the Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt, Germany (FK/1052 and FK/1108). All animal handling was performed to minimize suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Elisabetta Dejana, FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, Italy

Publication history

  1. Received: November 21, 2018
  2. Accepted: March 28, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 1, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 24, 2019 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2019, Benz et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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