Indexed on: 25 Feb '15Published on: 25 Feb '15Published in: PLoS pathogens
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 F4/80(hi)CD11b(lo)CD11c(+) 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.