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CD31 antibody


Antibody ID


Target Antigen

CD31 mouse

Proper Citation

(BD Biosciences Cat# 551262, RRID:AB_398497)


monoclonal antibody


Flow cytometry

Host Organism



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FACS isolation of endothelial cells and pericytes from mouse brain microregions.

  • Crouch EE
  • Nat Protoc
  • 2018 Mar 23

Literature context:


The vasculature is emerging as a key contributor to brain function during neurodevelopment and in mature physiological and pathological states. The brain vasculature itself also exhibits regional heterogeneity, highlighting the need to develop approaches for purifying cells from different microregions. Previous approaches for isolation of endothelial cells and pericytes have predominantly required transgenic mice and large amounts of tissue, and have resulted in impure populations. In addition, the prospective purification of brain pericytes has been complicated by the fact that widely used pericyte markers are also expressed by other cell types in the brain. Here, we describe the detailed procedures for simultaneous isolation of pure populations of endothelial cells and pericytes directly from adult mouse brain microregions using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) with antibodies against CD31 (endothelial cells) and CD13 (pericytes). This protocol is scalable and takes ∼5 h, including microdissection of the region of interest, enzymatic tissue dissociation, immunostaining, and FACS. This protocol allows the isolation of brain vascular cells from any mouse strain under diverse conditions; these cells can be used for multiple downstream applications, including in vitro and in vivo experiments, and transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, epigenomic, and single-cell analysis.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01CA103646(United States)

Proliferating NG2-Cell-Dependent Angiogenesis and Scar Formation Alter Axon Growth and Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Mice.

  • Hesp ZC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2018 Feb 7

Literature context:


Spinal cord injury (SCI) induces a centralized fibrotic scar surrounded by a reactive glial scar at the lesion site. The origin of these scars is thought to be perivascular cells entering lesions on ingrowing blood vessels and reactive astrocytes, respectively. However, two NG2-expressing cell populations, pericytes and glia, may also influence scar formation. In the periphery, new blood vessel growth requires proliferating NG2+ pericytes; if this were also true in the CNS, then the fibrotic scar would depend on dividing NG2+ pericytes. NG2+ glial cells (also called oligodendrocyte progenitors or polydendrocytes) also proliferate after SCI and accumulate in large numbers among astrocytes in the glial scar. Their effect there, if any, is unknown. We show that proliferating NG2+ pericytes and glia largely segregate into the fibrotic and glial scars, respectively; therefore, we used a thymidine kinase/ganciclovir paradigm to ablate both dividing NG2+ cell populations to determine whether either scar was altered. Results reveal that loss of proliferating NG2+ pericytes in the lesion prevented intralesion angiogenesis and completely abolished the fibrotic scar. The glial scar was also altered in the absence of acutely dividing NG2+ cells, displaying discontinuous borders and significantly reduced GFAP density. Collectively, these changes enhanced edema, prolonged hemorrhage, and impaired forelimb functional recovery. Interestingly, after halting GCV at 14 d postinjury, scar elements and vessels entered the lesions over the next 7 d, as did large numbers of axons that were not present in controls. Collectively, these data reveal that acutely dividing NG2+ pericytes and glia play fundamental roles in post-SCI tissue remodeling.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spinal cord injury (SCI) is characterized by formation of astrocytic and fibrotic scars, both of which are necessary for lesion repair. NG2+ cells may influence both scar-forming processes. This study used a novel transgenic mouse paradigm to ablate proliferating NG2+ cells after SCI to better understand their role in repair. For the first time, our data show that dividing NG2+ pericytes are required for post-SCI angiogenesis, which in turn is needed for fibrotic scar formation. Moreover, loss of cycling NG2+ glia and pericytes caused significant multicellular tissue changes, including altered astrocyte responses and impaired functional recovery. This work reveals previously unknown ways in which proliferating NG2+ cells contribute to endogenous repair after SCI.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32GM082729(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS049267()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS073425()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS074870()

A Metabolic Basis for Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition.

  • Xiong J
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2018 Feb 15

Literature context:


Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) is a cellular process often initiated by the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family of ligands. Although required for normal heart valve development, deregulated EndoMT is linked to a wide range of pathological conditions. Here, we demonstrate that endothelial fatty acid oxidation (FAO) is a critical in vitro and in vivo regulator of EndoMT. We further show that this FAO-dependent metabolic regulation of EndoMT occurs through alterations in intracellular acetyl-CoA levels. Disruption of FAO via conditional deletion of endothelial carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (Cpt2E-KO) augments the magnitude of embryonic EndoMT, resulting in thickening of cardiac valves. Consistent with the known pathological effects of EndoMT, adult Cpt2E-KO mice demonstrate increased permeability in multiple vascular beds. Taken together, these results demonstrate that endothelial FAO is required to maintain endothelial cell fate and that therapeutic manipulation of endothelial metabolism could provide the basis for treating a growing number of EndoMT-linked pathological conditions.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - Z01 HL005012-11()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - K08 HL121174()
  • NIA NIH HHS - P30 AG024827()
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - T32 DK007052()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM084445(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS072241()

In Vivo Labeling by CD73 Marks Multipotent Stromal Cells and Highlights Endothelial Heterogeneity in the Bone Marrow Niche.

  • Breitbach M
  • Cell Stem Cell
  • 2018 Feb 1

Literature context:


Despite much work studying ex vivo multipotent stromal cells (MSCs), the identity and characteristics of MSCs in vivo are not well defined. Here, we generated a CD73-EGFP reporter mouse to address these questions and found EGFP+ MSCs in various organs. In vivo, EGFP+ mesenchymal cells were observed in fetal and adult bones at proliferative ossification sites, while in solid organs EGFP+ cells exhibited a perivascular distribution pattern. EGFP+ cells from the bone compartment could be clonally expanded ex vivo from single cells and displayed trilineage differentiation potential. Moreover, in the central bone marrow CD73-EGFP+ specifically labeled sinusoidal endothelial cells, thought to be a critical component of the hematopoietic stem cell niche. Purification and molecular characterization of this CD73-EGFP+ population revealed an endothelial subtype that also displays a mesenchymal signature, highlighting endothelial cell heterogeneity in the marrow. Thus, the CD73-EGFP mouse is a powerful tool for studying MSCs and sinusoidal endothelium.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • Medical Research Council - G0501838()
  • Medical Research Council - G0801073()
  • Medical Research Council - MC_UU_12009/5()

Hedgehog Pathway Drives Fusion-Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma Initiated From Non-myogenic Endothelial Progenitors.

  • Drummond CJ
  • Cancer Cell
  • 2018 Jan 8

Literature context:


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft tissue sarcoma that histologically resembles embryonic skeletal muscle. RMS occurs throughout the body and an exclusively myogenic origin does not account for RMS occurring in sites devoid of skeletal muscle. We previously described an RMS model activating a conditional constitutively active Smoothened mutant (SmoM2) with aP2-Cre. Using genetic fate mapping, we show SmoM2 expression in Cre-expressing endothelial progenitors results in myogenic transdifferentiation and RMS. We show that endothelium and skeletal muscle within the head and neck arise from Kdr-expressing progenitors, and that hedgehog pathway activation results in aberrant expression of myogenic specification factors as a potential mechanism driving RMS genesis. These findings suggest that RMS can originate from aberrant development of non-myogenic cells.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K08 CA151649()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA021765()
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA216344()
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R21AI094333(United States)

Anatomically and Functionally Distinct Lung Mesenchymal Populations Marked by Lgr5 and Lgr6.

  • Lee JH
  • Cell
  • 2017 Sep 7

Literature context:


The diversity of mesenchymal cell types in the lung that influence epithelial homeostasis and regeneration is poorly defined. We used genetic lineage tracing, single-cell RNA sequencing, and organoid culture approaches to show that Lgr5 and Lgr6, well-known markers of stem cells in epithelial tissues, are markers of mesenchymal cells in the adult lung. Lgr6+ cells comprise a subpopulation of smooth muscle cells surrounding airway epithelia and promote airway differentiation of epithelial progenitors via Wnt-Fgf10 cooperation. Genetic ablation of Lgr6+ cells impairs airway injury repair in vivo. Distinct Lgr5+ cells are located in alveolar compartments and are sufficient to promote alveolar differentiation of epithelial progenitors through Wnt activation. Modulating Wnt activity altered differentiation outcomes specified by mesenchymal cells. This identification of region- and lineage-specific crosstalk between epithelium and their neighboring mesenchymal partners provides new understanding of how different cell types are maintained in the adult lung.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - K99 CA187317()
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA014051()
  • NCI NIH HHS - U24 CA180922()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL090136()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01 HL125821()
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - U01 HL100402()
  • Wellcome Trust - R01 HL132266()

Regional and stage-specific effects of prospectively purified vascular cells on the adult V-SVZ neural stem cell lineage.

  • Crouch EE
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2015 Mar 18

Literature context:


Adult neural stem cells reside in specialized niches. In the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ), quiescent neural stem cells (qNSCs) become activated (aNSCs), and generate transit amplifying cells (TACs), which give rise to neuroblasts that migrate to the olfactory bulb. The vasculature is an important component of the adult neural stem cell niche, but whether vascular cells in neurogenic areas are intrinsically different from those elsewhere in the brain is unknown. Moreover, the contribution of pericytes to the neural stem cell niche has not been defined. Here, we describe a rapid FACS purification strategy to simultaneously isolate primary endothelial cells and pericytes from brain microregions of nontransgenic mice using CD31 and CD13 as surface markers. We compared the effect of purified vascular cells from a neurogenic (V-SVZ) and non-neurogenic brain region (cortex) on the V-SVZ stem cell lineage in vitro. Endothelial and pericyte diffusible signals from both regions differentially promote the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of qNSCs, aNSCs, and TACs. Unexpectedly, diffusible cortical signals had the most potent effects on V-SVZ proliferation and neurogenesis, highlighting the intrinsic capacity of non-neurogenic vasculature to support stem cell behavior. Finally, we identify PlGF-2 as an endothelial-derived mitogen that promotes V-SVZ cell proliferation. This purification strategy provides a platform to define the functional and molecular contribution of vascular cells to stem cell niches and other brain regions under different physiological and pathological states.