The hormonal peptide Elabela guides angiob lasts to the midline during vasculogenesis

Christian S.M. Helker, Annika Schuermann, Cathrin Pollmann, Serene C. Chng, Friedemann Kiefer, Bruno Reversade, Wiebke Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


A key step in the de novo formation of the embryonic vasculature is the migration of endothelial precursors, the angioblasts, to the position of the future vessels. To form the first axial vessels, angioblasts migrate towards the midline and coalesce underneath the notochord. Vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegf) has been proposed to serve as a chemoattractant for the angioblasts and to regulate this medial migration. Here we challenge this model and instead demonstrate that angioblasts rely on their intrinsic expression of Apelin receptors (Aplr, APJ) for their migration to the midline. We further show that during this angioblast migration Apelin receptor signaling is mainly triggered by the recently discovered ligand Elabela (Ela). As neither of the ligands Ela or Apelin (Apln) nor their receptors have previously been implicated in regulating angioblast migration, we hereby provide a novel mechanism for regulating vasculogenesis, with direct relevance to physiological and pathological angiogenesis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 27 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


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