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Mech Dev. 2001 Nov;109(1):115-9.

Differential expression of neuropilin-1 and neuropilin-2 in arteries and veins.

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Department of Biology, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 32000, Haifa, Israel.


Neuropilin-1 (np1) and neuropilin-2 (np2) are receptors for class-3 semaphorins and for several isoforms of VEGF. We have cloned and characterized two chick isoforms of np2 cDNA. Expression patterns of np1, np2, and ephrin-B2 were compared in the developing vascular system of 24-72 h old chick embryos. We show for the first time that np2 is expressed in blood vessels in vivo from the earliest stages of their formation. In contrast to ephrin-B2, both np1 and np2 are expressed in blood islands of 24 h old chick embryos. At 48-72 h, np1 expression is localized preferentially in arteries with an expression pattern that resembles that of ephrin-B2. In contrast, np2 is expressed preferentially in veins. Thus, neuropilins may play a role in determining the arterial or venous identity of blood vessels.

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