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Failure to close the ductus arteriosus, patent ductus arteriosus, accounts for 10% of all congenital heart defects. Despite significant advances in patent ductus arteriosus management, including pharmacological treatment targeting the prostaglandin pathway, a proportion of patients fail to respond and must undergo surgical intervention. Thus, further refinement of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern vascular remodeling of this vessel is required. We performed single-cell RNA-sequencing of the ductus arteriosus in mouse embryos at E18.5 (embryonic day 18.5), and P0.5 (postnatal day 0.5), and P5 to identify transcriptional alterations that might be associated with remodeling. We further confirmed our findings using transgenic mouse models coupled with immunohistochemistry analysis. The intermediate filament vimentin emerged as a candidate that might contribute to closure of the ductus arteriosus. Indeed, mice with genetic deletion of vimentin fail to complete vascular remodeling of the ductus arteriosus. To seek mechanisms, we turned to the RNA-sequencing data that indicated changes in Jagged1 with similar profile to vimentin and pointed to potential links with Notch. In fact, Notch3 signaling was impaired in vimentin null mice and vimentin null mice phenocopies patent ductus arteriosus in Jagged1 endothelial and smooth muscle deleted mice. Through single-cell RNA-sequencing and by tracking closure of the ductus arteriosus in mice, we uncovered the unexpected contribution of vimentin in driving complete closure of the ductus arteriosus through a mechanism that includes deregulation of the Notch signaling pathway.


Jocelynda Salvador, Gloria E Hernandez, Feiyang Ma, Cyrus W Abrahamson, Matteo Pellegrini, Robert Goldman, Karen M Ridge, M Luisa Iruela-Arispe. Transcriptional Evaluation of the Ductus Arteriosus at the Single-Cell Level Uncovers a Requirement for Vim (Vimentin) for Complete Closure. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2022 Jun;42(6):732-742

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PMID: 35443793

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