The angiopoietin-Tie2 pathway regulates Purkinje cell dendritic morphogenesis in a cell-autonomous manner

Cell Rep. 2021 Aug 17;36(7):109522. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109522.


Neuro-vascular communication is essential to synchronize central nervous system development. Here, we identify angiopoietin/Tie2 as a neuro-vascular signaling axis involved in regulating dendritic morphogenesis of Purkinje cells (PCs). We show that in the developing cerebellum Tie2 expression is not restricted to blood vessels, but it is also present in PCs. Its ligands angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) are expressed in neural cells and endothelial cells (ECs), respectively. PC-specific deletion of Tie2 results in reduced dendritic arborization, which is recapitulated in neural-specific Ang1-knockout and Ang2 full-knockout mice. Mechanistically, RNA sequencing reveals that Tie2-deficient PCs present alterations in gene expression of multiple genes involved in cytoskeleton organization, dendritic formation, growth, and branching. Functionally, mice with deletion of Tie2 in PCs present alterations in PC network functionality. Altogether, our data propose Ang/Tie2 signaling as a mediator of intercellular communication between neural cells, ECs, and PCs, required for proper PC dendritic morphogenesis and function.

Keywords: Purkinje cell; Tie2; angiogenesis; angipoietin; blood vessels; cerebellum; dendritic branching; dendritic morphology; neuro-vascular; neurodevelopment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiopoietin-1 / metabolism
  • Angiopoietin-2 / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / blood supply
  • Cerebellum / growth & development
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Purkinje Cells / metabolism*
  • Receptor, TIE-2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Angiopoietin-1
  • Angiopoietin-2
  • Receptor, TIE-2
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases