The role of RNA interference in the developmental separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature

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Sébastien Gauvrit Josette Philippe Matthieu Lesage Marc Tjwa Isabelle Godin Stéphane Germain



Dicer is an RNase III enzyme that cleaves double stranded RNA and generates functional interfering RNAs that act as important regulators of gene and protein expression. Dicer plays an essential role during mouse development because the deletion of the dicergene leads to embryonic death. In addition, dicer-dependent interfering RNAs regulate postnatal angiogenesis. However, the role of dicer is not yet fully elucidated during vascular development.


In order to explore the functional roles of the RNA interference in vascular biology, we developed a new constitutive Cre/loxP-mediated inactivation of dicerin tie2expressing cells.


We show that cell-specific inactivation of dicerin Tie2expressing cells does not perturb early blood vessel development and patterning. Tie2-Cre; dicer fl/fl mutant embryos do not show any blood vascular defects until embryonic day (E)12.5, a time at which hemorrhages and edema appear. Then, midgestational lethality occurs at E14.5 in mutant embryos. The developing lymphatic vessels of dicer-mutant embryos are filled with circulating red blood cells, revealing an impaired separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature.


Thus, these results show that RNA interference perturbs neither vasculogenesis and developmental angiogenesis, nor lymphatic specification from venous endothelial cells but actually provides evidence for an epigenetic control of separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature.

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How to Cite
GAUVRIT, Sébastien et al. The role of RNA interference in the developmental separation of blood and lymphatic vasculature. Vascular Cell, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 9, apr. 2014. ISSN 2045-824X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 jan. 2022. doi:
Original Research