Autotaxin overexpression causes embryonic lethality and vascular defects

Hiroshi Yukiura, Kuniyuki Kano, Ryoji Kise, Asuka Inoue, Junken Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Autotaxin (ATX) is a secretory protein, which converts lysophospholipids to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), and is essential for embryonic vascular formation. ATX is abundantly detected in various biological fluids and its level is elevated in some pathophysiological conditions. However, the roles of elevated ATX levels remain to be elucidated. In this study, we generated conditional transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing ATX and examined the effects of excess LPA signalling. We found that ATX overexpression in the embryonic period caused severe vascular defects and was lethal around E9.5. ATX was conditionally overexpressed in the neonatal period using the Cre/loxP system, which resulted in a marked increase in the plasma LPA level. This resulted in retinal vascular defects including abnormal vascular plexus and increased vascular regression. Our findings indicate that the ATX level must be carefully regulated to ensure coordinated vascular formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1573
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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