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Vascular dimorphism ensured by regulated proteoglycan dynamics favors rapid umbilical artery closure at birth

Nandadasa, Sumeda, Szafron, Jason M., Pathak, Vai, Murtada, Sae-Il, Kraft, Caroline M., O'Donnell, Anna, Norvik, Christian, Hughes, Clare ORCID:, Caterson, Bruce ORCID:, Domowicz, Miriam S., Schwartz, Nancy B., Tran-Lundmark, Karin, Veigl, Martina, Sedwick, David, Philipson, Elliot H., Humphrey, Jay D. and Apte, Suneel S. 2020. Vascular dimorphism ensured by regulated proteoglycan dynamics favors rapid umbilical artery closure at birth. eLife 9 , e60683. 10.7554/eLife.60683

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The umbilical artery lumen closes rapidly at birth, preventing neonatal blood loss, whereas the umbilical vein remains patent longer. Here, analysis of umbilical cords from humans and other mammals identified differential arterial-venous proteoglycan dynamics as a determinant of these contrasting vascular responses. The umbilical artery, but not the vein, has an inner layer enriched in the hydrated proteoglycan aggrecan, external to which lie contraction-primed smooth muscle cells (SMC). At birth, SMC contraction drives inner layer buckling and centripetal displacement to occlude the arterial lumen, a mechanism revealed by biomechanical observations and confirmed by computational analyses. This vascular dimorphism arises from spatially regulated proteoglycan expression and breakdown. Mice lacking aggrecan or the metalloprotease ADAMTS1, which degrades proteoglycans, demonstrate their opposing roles in umbilical vascular dimorphism, including effects on SMC differentiation. Umbilical vessel dimorphism is conserved in mammals, suggesting that differential proteoglycan dynamics and inner layer buckling were positively selected during evolution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: eLife Sciences Publications
ISSN: 2050-084X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2020
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 13:29

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