Discovery and Characterization of Ephrin B2 and EphB4 Dysregulation and Novel Mutations in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations: In Vitro and Patient-Derived Evidence of Ephrin-Mediated Endothelial Cell Pathophysiology
Journal: Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (2023)
Institution: Vascular Biology Program, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, USA
Research Areas: Neurobiology
Cell Lines: HBMVECs, HUVECS, HEK293T, CCMECs (Human brain microvascular endothelial cells, umbilical vein endothelial cells, Human Embryonic Kidney, CCM-derived endothelial cells)
Summary: Intracranial vascular malformations manifest on a continuum ranging from predominantly arterial to predominantly venous in pathology. Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are capillary malformations that exist at the midpoint of this continuum. The axon guidance factor Ephrin B2 and its receptor EphB4 are critical regulators of vasculogenesis in the developing central nervous system. Ephrin B2/EphB4 dysregulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of arterial-derived arteriovenous malformations and vein-based vein of Galen malformations. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that aberrant Ephrin B2/EphB4 signaling may contribute to developing vascular malformations, but their role in CCMs remains largely uncharacterized. Evidence of Ephrin dysregulation in CCMs would be important to establish a common link in the pathogenic spectrum of EphrinB2/Ephb4 dysregulation. By studying patient-derived primary CCM endothelial cells (CCMECs), we established that CCMECs are functionally distinct from healthy endothelial cell controls; CCMECs demonstrated altered patterns of migration, motility, and impaired tube formation. In addition to the altered phenotype, the CCMECs also displayed an increased ratio of EphrinB2/EphB4 compared to the healthy endothelial control cells. Furthermore, whole exome sequencing identified mutations in both EphrinB2 and EphB4 in the CCMECs. These findings identify functional alterations in the EphrinB2/EphB4 ratio as a feature linking pathophysiology across the spectrum of arterial, capillary, and venous structural malformations in the central nervous system while revealing a putative therapeutic target.HoloMonitor M4 is used to measure the altered patterns of morphology, migration and motility with single cell tracking and cell motility assay.