Pattern of tamoxifen-induced Tie2 deletion in endothelial cells in mature blood vessels using endo SCL-Cre-ERT transgenic mice

Peter J Zwiers*, Rianne M Jongman, Timara Kuiper, Jill Moser, Radu V Stan, Joachim R Göthert, Matijs van Meurs, Eliane R Popa, Grietje Molema

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Tyrosine-protein kinase receptor Tie2, also known as Tunica interna Endothelial cell Kinase or TEK plays a prominent role in endothelial responses to angiogenic and inflammatory stimuli. Here we generated a novel inducible Tie2 knockout mouse model, which targets mature (micro)vascular endothelium, enabling the study of the organ-specific contribution of Tie2 to these responses. Mice with floxed Tie2 exon 9 alleles (Tie2floxed/floxed) were crossed with end-SCL-Cre-ERT transgenic mice, generating offspring in which Tie2 exon 9 is deleted in the endothelial compartment upon tamoxifen-induced activation of Cre-recombinase (Tie2ΔE9). Successful deletion of Tie2 exon 9 in kidney, lung, heart, aorta, and liver, was accompanied by a heterogeneous, organ-dependent reduction in Tie2 mRNA and protein expression. Microvascular compartment-specific reduction in Tie2 mRNA and protein occurred in arterioles of all studied organs, in renal glomeruli, and in lung capillaries. In kidney, lung, and heart, reduced Tie2 expression was accompanied by a reduction in Tie1 mRNA expression. The heterogeneous, organ- and microvascular compartment-dependent knockout pattern of Tie2 in the Tie2floxed/floxed;end-SCL-Cre-ERT mouse model suggests that future studies using similar knockout strategies should include a meticulous analysis of the knockout extent of the gene of interest, prior to studying its role in pathological conditions, so that proper conclusions can be drawn.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0268986
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8-Jun-2022

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