In endothelial cells, the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is particularly active during angiogenesis of the CNS,
contributing to the differentiation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Recently, also hedgehog (Hh)
signaling, driven by its ligand sonic hedgehog, has been found to promote BBB integrity. However, the interaction of the
Wnt/β-catenin and the Hh pathway in endothelial cells during angiogenesis and barrier
formation is currently unknown. In the next funding period we will determine how Wnt and Hh interact in
the endothelium at the BBB in the CNS, using conditional transgenic mouse models in vivo and
endothelial cells in vitro, and investigate their role in pathological angiogenesis.