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WNT7b mediates macrophage-induced programmed cell death in patterning of the vasculature.

Macrophages have a critical role in inflammatory and immune responses through their ability to recognize and engulf apoptotic cells. Here we show that macrophages initiate a cell-death programme in target cells by activating the canonical WNT pathway. We show in mice that macrophage WNT7b is a short-range paracrine signal required for WNT-pathway responses and programmed cell death in the vascular endothelial cells of the temporary hyaloid vessels of the developing eye. These findings indicate that macrophages can use WNT ligands to influence cell-fate decisions--including cell death--in adjacent cells, and raise the possibility that they do so in many different cellular contexts.

Pubmed ID: 16163358


  • Lobov IB
  • Rao S
  • Carroll TJ
  • Vallance JE
  • Ito M
  • Ondr JK
  • Kurup S
  • Glass DA
  • Patel MS
  • Shu W
  • Morrisey EE
  • McMahon AP
  • Karsenty G
  • Lang RA



Publication Data

September 15, 2005

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01 EY015766
  • Agency: NEI NIH HHS, Id: R01 EY015766-02
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: R01 HL087825
  • Agency: NHLBI NIH HHS, Id: U01 HL100405

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Eye
  • Glycoproteins
  • Ligands
  • Macrophages
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Paracrine Communication
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins