IMR Press / FBE / Volume 4 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.2741/e541

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Review

Life is a pattern: vascular assembly within the embryo

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1 Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Freiburg, Germany
2 McAllister Heart Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Academic Editor: Indrajit Chowdhury

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2012, 4(6), 2269–2288; https://doi.org/10.2741/e541
Published: 1 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent progress in reproductive biology)
Abstract

The formation of the vascular system is one of the earliest and most important events during organogenesis in the developing embryo because the growing organism needs a transportation system to supply oxygen and nutrients and to remove waste products. Two distinct processes termed vasculogenesis and angiogenesis lead to a complex vasculature covering the entire body. Several cellular mechanisms including migration, proliferation, differentiation and maturation are involved in generating this hierarchical vascular tree. To achieve this aim, a multitude of signaling pathways need to be activated and coordinated in spatio-temporal patterns. Understanding embryonic molecular mechanism in angiogenesis further provides insight for therapeutic approaches in pathological conditions like cancer or ischemic diseases in the adult. In this review, we describe the current understanding of major signaling pathways that are necessary and active during vascular development.

Keywords
Vascular development
Embryogenesis
Angiogenic signaling
Endothelium
VEGF
Angiopoetins
TGF-beta
Review
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