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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e46312. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0046312. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Arteriolar and venular remodeling are differentially regulated by bone marrow-derived cell-specific CX3CR1 and CCR2 expression.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America.


The chemokine receptors CCR2 and CX3CR1 are critical for the recruitment of "inflammatory" and "resident" monocytes, respectively, subpopulations that differentially affect vascular remodeling in atherosclerosis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that bone marrow-derived cell (BMC)-specific CCR2 and CX3CR1 differentially control venular and arteriolar remodeling. Venular and arteriolar lumenal remodeling were observed by intravital microscopy in mice with either CCR2 or CX3CR1 deficient BMCs after implantation of a dorsal skinfold window chamber, a model in which arterioles and venules lumenally enlarge in wild-type (WT) mice. Arteriolar remodeling was abolished in mice with either CCR2 or CX3CR1-deficient BMCs. In contrast, the loss of CX3CR1 from BMCs, but not CCR2, significantly reduced small venule remodeling compared to WT controls. We conclude that microvascular remodeling is differentially regulated by BMC-expressed chemokine receptors. Both CCR2 and CX3CR1 regulate arteriole growth; however, only BMC-expressed CX3CR1 impacts small venule growth. These findings may provide a basis for additional investigations aimed at determining how patterns of monocyte subpopulation recruitment spatially influence microvascular remodeling.

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