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The neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 2 (Ntrk2, also known as TrkB) and its ligands brain derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf), neurotrophin-4 (NT-4/5), and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) are known primarily for their multiple effects on neuronal differentiation and survival. Here, we provide evidence that Ntrk2 plays a role in the pathologic remodeling of the spleen that accompanies chronic infection. We show that in Leishmania donovani-infected mice, Ntrk2 is aberrantly expressed on splenic endothelial cells and that new maturing blood vessels within the white pulp are intimately associated with F4/80hiCD11bloCD11c+ macrophages that express Bdnf and NT-4/5 and have pro-angiogenic potential in vitro. Furthermore, administration of the small molecule Ntrk2 antagonist ANA-12 to infected mice significantly inhibited white pulp neovascularization but had no effect on red pulp vascular remodeling. We believe this to be the first evidence of the Ntrk2/neurotrophin pathway driving pathogen-induced vascular remodeling in lymphoid tissue. These studies highlight the therapeutic potential of modulating this pathway to inhibit pathological angiogenesis.
Bibliographical note© 2015 Dalton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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