Vandersmissen I, Craps S, Depypere M, Coppiello G, van Gastel N, Maes F, Carmeliet G, Schrooten J, Jones EA, Umans L, Devlieger R, Koole M, Gheysens O, Zwijsen A, Aranguren XL, Luttun A
Collateral remodeling is critical for blood flow restoration in peripheral arterial disease and is triggered by increasing fluid shear stress in preexisting collateral arteries. So far, no arterial-specific mediators of this mechanotransduction response have been identified. We show that muscle segment homeobox 1 (MSX1) acts exclusively in collateral arterial endothelium to transduce the extrinsic shear stimulus into an arteriogenic remodeling response. MSX1 was specifically up-regulated in remodeling collateral arteries. MSX1 induction in collateral endothelial cells (ECs) was shear stress driven and downstream of canonical bone morphogenetic protein-SMAD signaling. Flow recovery and collateral remodeling were significantly blunted in EC-specific Msx1/2 knockout mice. Mechanistically, MSX1 linked the arterial shear stimulus to arteriogenic remodeling by activating the endothelial but not medial layer to a proinflammatory state because EC but not smooth muscle cellMsx1/2 knockout mice had reduced leukocyte recruitment to remodeling collateral arteries. This reduced leukocyte infiltration in EC Msx1/2 knockout mice originated from decreased levels of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1)/vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1), whose expression was also in vitro driven by promoter binding of MSX1.