Microfibril-associated glycoprotein 4 (Mfap4) regulates haematopoiesis in zebrafish

Ong, S. L. M., de Vos, I. J. H. M., Meroshini, M., Poobalan, Y. & Dunn, N. R., 16-Jul-2020, In : Scientific Reports. 10, 1, 12 p., 11801.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Sheena L. M. Ong
  • Ivo J. H. M. de Vos
  • M. Meroshini
  • Yogavalli Poobalan
  • N. Ray Dunn

Microfibril-associated glycoprotein 4 (MFAP4) is an extracellular matrix protein belonging to the fibrinogen-related protein superfamily. MFAP4 is produced by vascular smooth muscle cells and is highly enriched in the blood vessels of the heart and lung, where it is thought to contribute to the structure and function of elastic fibers. Genetic studies in humans have implicated MFAP4 in the pathogenesis of Smith-Magenis syndrome, in which patients present with multiple congenital abnormalities and mental retardation, as well as in the severe cardiac malformation left-sided congenital heart disease. Comprehensive genetic analysis of the role of MFAP4 orthologues in model organisms during development and tissue homeostasis is however lacking. Here, we demonstrate that zebrafish mfap4 transcripts are detected embryonically, resolving to the macrophage lineage by 24 h post fertilization. mfap4 null mutant zebrafish are unexpectedly viable and fertile, without ostensible phenotypes. However, tail fin amputation assays reveal that mfap4 mutants have reduced numbers of macrophages, with a concomitant increase in neutrophilic granulocytes, although recruitment of both cell types to the site of injury was unaffected. Molecular analyses suggest that loss of Mfap4 alters the balance between myeloid and lymphoid lineages during both primitive and definitive haematopoiesis, which could significantly impact the downstream function of the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11801
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16-Jul-2020
Externally publishedYes



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