Journal article

Apoptosis regulates endothelial cell number and capillary vessel diameter but not vessel regression during retinal angiogenesis

Emma C Watson, Monica N Koenig, Zoe L Grant, Lachlan Whitehead, Evelyn Trounson, Grant Dewson, Leigh Coultas



The growth of hierarchical blood vessel networks occurs by angiogenesis. During this process, new vessel growth is accompanied by the removal of redundant vessel segments by selective vessel regression ('pruning') and a reduction in endothelial cell (EC) density in order to establish an efficient, hierarchical network. EC apoptosis has long been recognised for its association with angiogenesis, but its contribution to this process has remained unclear. We generated mice in which EC apoptosis was blocked by tissue-specific deletion of the apoptosis effector proteins BAK and BAX. Using the retina as a model, we found that apoptosis made a minor contribution to the efficiency of capillary regre..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was made possible through Victorian State Government Operational Infrastructure Support and Australian Government NHMRC IRIISS. This work was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia [Project Grant: 1010638 to L.C.]; the Australian Research Council [Future Fellowships: 110100891 to L.C., 100100791 to G.D.]; and the L.E.W Carty Charitable Fund.