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Single cell transcriptome analyses reveal novel targets modulating cardiac neovascularisation by resident endothelial cells following myocardial infarction

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507–2520
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number30
Early online date4 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019


Aims: A better understanding of the pathways that regulate regeneration of the coronary vasculature is of fundamental importance for the advancement of strategies to treat patients with heart disease. Here, we aimed to investigate the origin and clonal dynamics of endothelial cells (ECs) associated with neovascularization in the adult mouse heart following myocardial infarction (MI). Furthermore, we sought to define murine cardiac endothelial heterogeneity and to characterize the transcriptional profiles of pro-angiogenic resident ECs in the adult mouse heart, at single-cell resolution.

Methods and results: An EC-specific multispectral lineage-tracing mouse (Pdgfb-iCreERT2-R26R-Brainbow2.1) was used to demonstrate that structural integrity of adult cardiac endothelium following MI was maintained through clonal proliferation by resident ECs in the infarct border region, without significant contributions from bone marrow cells or endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Ten transcriptionally discrete heterogeneous EC states, as well as the pathways through which each endothelial state is likely to enhance neovasculogenesis and tissue regeneration following ischaemic injury were defined. Plasmalemma vesicle-associated protein (Plvap) was selected for further study, which showed an endothelial-specific and increased expression in both the ischaemic mouse and human heart, and played a direct role in regulating human endothelial proliferation in vitro.

Conclusion: We present a single-cell gene expression atlas of cardiac specific resident ECs, and the transcriptional hierarchy underpinning endogenous vascular repair following MI. These data provide a rich resource that could assist in the development of new therapeutic interventions to augment endogenous myocardial perfusion and enhance regeneration in the injured heart.

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