Notch expression patterns in the retina: An eye on receptor-ligand distribution during angiogenesis

Jennifer J. Hofmann, M. Luisa Iruela-Arispe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The critical contribution of the Notch signaling pathway to vascular morphogenesis has been underscored by loss-of-function studies in mouse and zebrafish. Nonetheless, a comprehensive understanding as to how this signaling system influences the formation of blood vessels at the cellular and molecular level is far from reached. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of the distribution of active Notch1 in relation to its DSL (Delta, Serrate, Lag2) ligands, Jagged1, Delta-like1, and Delta-like4, during progressive stages of vascular morphogenesis and maturation. Important differences in the cellular distribution of Notch ligands were found. Jagged1 (Jag1) was detected in "stalk cells" of the leading vasculature and at arterial branch points, a site where Delta-like4 (Dll4) was clearly absent. Dll4 was the only ligand expressed in "tip cells" at the end of the growing vascular sprouts. It was also present in stalk cells, capillaries, arterial endothelium, and in mural cells of mature arteries in a homogenous manner. Delta-like1 (Dll1) was observed in both arteries and veins of the developing network, but was also excluded from mature arterial branch points. These findings support alternative and distinct roles for Notch ligands during the angiogenic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-470
Number of pages10
JournalGene Expression Patterns
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Arteries
  • Blood vessels
  • Capillaries
  • Delta-like1
  • Delta-like4
  • Endothelial
  • Jagged1
  • Vascular remodeling
  • Vasculature
  • Veins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Notch expression patterns in the retina: An eye on receptor-ligand distribution during angiogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this