Institute Affiliations

All Publications

  • Dedifferentiation and Proliferation of Artery Endothelial Cells Drive Coronary Collateral Development in Mice. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology Arolkar, G., Krishna Kumar, S., Wang, H., Gonzalez, K. M., Kumar, S., Bishnoi, B., Rios Coronado, P. E., Woo, Y. J., Red-Horse, K., Das, S. 2023


    BACKGROUND: Collateral arteries act as natural bypasses which reroute blood flow to ischemic regions and facilitate tissue regeneration. In an injured heart, neonatal artery endothelial cells orchestrate a systematic series of cellular events, which includes their outward migration, proliferation, and coalescence into fully functional collateral arteries. This process, called artery reassembly, aids complete cardiac regeneration in neonatal hearts but is absent in adults. The reason for this age-dependent disparity in artery cell response is completely unknown. In this study, we investigated if regenerative potential of coronary arteries is dictated by their ability to dedifferentiate.METHODS: Single-cell RNA sequencing of coronary endothelial cells was performed to identify differences in molecular profiles of neonatal and adult endothelial cells in mice. Findings from this in silico analyses were confirmed with in vivo experiments using genetic lineage tracing, whole organ immunostaining, confocal imaging, and cardiac functional assays in mice.RESULTS: Upon coronary occlusion, neonates showed a significant increase in actively cycling artery cells and expressed prominent dedifferentiation markers. Data from in silico pathway analyses and in vivo experiments suggested that upon myocardial infarction, cell cycle reentry of preexisting neonatal artery cells, the subsequent collateral artery formation, and recovery of cardiac function are dependent on arterial VegfR2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2). This subpopulation of dedifferentiated and proliferating artery cells was absent in nonregenerative postnatal day 7 or adult hearts.CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that adult artery endothelial cells fail to drive collateral artery development due to their limited ability to dedifferentiate and proliferate.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.123.319319

    View details for PubMedID 37345524

  • Dach1 Extends Artery Networks and Protects Against Cardiac Injury. Circulation research Raftrey, B., Williams, I. M., Rios Coronado, P. E., Fan, X., Chang, A. H., Zhao, M., Roth, R. K., Trimm, E., Racelis, R., D'Amato, G., Phansalkar, R., Nguyen, A., Chai, T., Gonzalez, K. M., Zhang, Y., Ang, L. T., Loh, K., Bernstein, D., Red-Horse, K. 2021


    Rationale: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, but there are currently no methods to stimulate artery growth or regeneration in diseased hearts. Studying how arteries are built during development could illuminate strategies for re-building these vessels during ischemic heart disease. We previously found that Dach1 deletion in mouse embryos resulted in small coronary arteries. However, it was not known whether Dach1 gain-of-function would be sufficient to increase arterial vessels and whether this could benefit injury responses. Objective: We investigated how Dach1 overexpression in endothelial cells affected transcription and artery differentiation, and how it influenced recovery from myocardial infarction (MI). Methods and Results: Dach1 was genetically overexpressed in coronary endothelial cells (ECs) in either developing or adult hearts using ApjCreER. This increased the length and number of arterial end branches expanded arteries during development, in both the heart and retina, by inducing capillary ECs to differentiate and contribute to growing arteries. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) of ECs undergoing Dach1-induced arterial specification indicated that it potentiated normal artery differentiation, rather than functioning as a master regulator of artery cell fate. ScRNAseq also showed that normal arterial differentiation is accompanied by repression of lipid metabolism genes, which were also repressed by Dach1. In adults, Dach1 overexpression did not cause a statistically significant change artery structure prior to injury, but increased the number of perfused arteries in the injury zone post-MI. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that increasing Dach1 is a novel method for driving artery specification and extending arterial branches, which could be explored as a means of mitigating the effects of CAD.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.318271

    View details for PubMedID 34383559