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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Contributions of mesenchymal progenitors to permeable vascular interfaces Bastedo, William Edward


In the choroid plexus (CP) and pituitary gland (PG), blood vessels are known to have a permeable phenotype that allows for the free passage of molecules in contrast to the blood brain barrier that is found in the rest of the CNS. While the endothelium and secretory cells (CP epithelium and PG endocrine cells) of these compartments have been studied in detail, fewer studies have examined the mesenchymal progenitors (MPs, also called pericytes, fibroblasts and mural cells) in these tissues. In this study, the Hic1CreERT2/CreERT2; Rosa26LSL-tdTomato/⁺ (Hic1-tdTom) lineage tracing mouse model was used to examine MPs within the CP and PG. Single-cell RNA-sequencing and reporter gene detection identified and validated distinct patterns of gene expression. We found that permeable brain regions possess substantial populations of distinct Hic1⁺ mesenchymal progenitors that make specific contributions to CP, PG and the meninges by expressing extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen 1 and metabolic enzymes such as Indole-n-methyltransferase. Multiple unique markers of mesenchymal cells in the CP and PG were identified, including ALPL and CD34. In sum, this study has identified and characterized novel populations of Hic1⁺ mesenchymal cells specific to permeable neurovasculature and the meninges.

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Attribution 4.0 International