The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Anne Eichmann

Guidance of vascular barrier formation

Anne Eichmann
Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA, and INSERM, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center, France

Blood and lymphatic vessels control oxygen and nutriment supply to all body tissues. Endothelial cells (ECs) lining vessels constitute a barrier between the vascular lumen and the surrounding tissues. EC barrier function is tailored to meet the demands of different organs, for example gas exchange in the lung, lipid absorption in the gut and maintenance of brain homeostasis via the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Tissue homeostasis requires coordinated barrier function in blood and lymphatic vessels. Opening of junctions between ECs lining blood vessels leads to tissue fluid accumulation that is drained by lymphatic vessels. A pathological increase in blood vessel permeability or lack or malfunction of lymphatic vessels leads to edema and associated defects in macromolecule and immune cell clearance. We seek to gain mechanistic understanding into barrier function in blood and lymphatic vessels, focusing on two barriers with opposing functions, the BBB and the lymphatic capillary barrier (LCB). We have identified novel effectors of BBB and LCB junctions and are determining their role using mouse genetic gain and loss of function approaches in combination with histological, functional and molecular analysis.

Chairperson: Helge Wiig, Department of Biomedicine