IL-1β Impacts Vascular Integrity and Lymphatic Function in the Embryonic Omentum

Circ Res. 2022 Feb 4;130(3):366-383. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319032. Epub 2022 Jan 6.


Background: The chromatin-remodeling enzyme BRG1 (brahma-related gene 1) regulates gene expression in a variety of rapidly differentiating cells during embryonic development. However, the critical genes that BRG1 regulates during lymphatic vascular development are unknown.

Methods: We used genetic and imaging techniques to define the role of BRG1 in murine embryonic lymphatic development, although this approach inadvertently expanded our study to multiple interacting cell types.

Results: We found that omental macrophages fine-tune an unexpected developmental process by which erythrocytes escaping from naturally discontinuous omental blood vessels are collected by nearby lymphatic vessels. Our data indicate that circulating fibrin(ogen) leaking from gaps in omental blood vessels can trigger inflammasome-mediated IL-1β (interleukin-1β) production and secretion from nearby macrophages. IL-1β destabilizes adherens junctions in omental blood and lymphatic vessels, contributing to both extravasation of erythrocytes and their uptake by lymphatics. BRG1 regulates IL-1β production in omental macrophages by transcriptionally suppressing the inflammasome trigger RIPK3 (receptor interacting protein kinase 3).

Conclusions: Genetic deletion of Brg1 in embryonic macrophages leads to excessive IL-1β production, erythrocyte leakage from blood vessels, and blood-filled lymphatics in the developing omentum. Altogether, these results highlight a novel context for epigenetically regulated crosstalk between macrophages, blood vessels, and lymphatics.

Keywords: edema; erythrocytes; fibrin; macrophages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adherens Junctions / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / embryology
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism*
  • DNA Helicases / genetics
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / embryology
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Omentum / blood supply
  • Omentum / embryology
  • Omentum / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Inflammasomes
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Smarca4 protein, mouse
  • DNA Helicases