The angiopoietin (ANGPT)-TIE2/TEK signaling pathway is essential for blood and lymphatic vascular homeostasis. ANGPT1 is a potent TIE2 activator, whereas ANGPT2 functions as a context-dependent agonist/antagonist. In disease, ANGPT2-mediated inhibition of TIE2 in blood vessels is linked to vascular leak, inflammation, and metastasis. Primary congenital glaucoma (PCG) is a leading cause of blindness in children worldwide and is caused by developmental defects in 2 aqueous humor outflow structures, Schlemm's canal (SC) and the trabecular meshwork. We previously identified loss-of-function mutations in the angiopoietin (ANGPT) receptor TEK in families with PCG and showed that ANGPT/TEK signaling is essential for SC development. A role for the major ANGPT ligands in the development of the aqueous outflow pathway. We determined that ANGPT1 is essential for SC development, and that Angpt1-knockout mice form a severely hypomorphic canal with elevated intraocular pressure. By linking ANGPT1 with PCG, these results highlight the importance of ANGPT/TEK signaling in glaucoma pathogenesis and identify a candidate target for therapeutic development.
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