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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2010 May;2(5):a001875. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001875. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Axon guidance molecules in vascular patterning.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Department of Tissue Morphogenesis, and University of Münster, Faculty of Medicine, Münster, Germany.

Abstract

Endothelial cells (ECs) form extensive, highly branched and hierarchically organized tubular networks in vertebrates to ensure the proper distribution of molecular and cellular cargo in the vertebrate body. The growth of this vascular system during development, tissue repair or in disease conditions involves the sprouting, migration and proliferation of endothelial cells in a process termed angiogenesis. Surprisingly, specialized ECs, so-called tip cells, which lead and guide endothelial sprouts, share many feature with another guidance structure, the axonal growth cone. Tip cells are motile, invasive and extend numerous filopodial protrusions sensing growth factors, extracellular matrix and other attractive or repulsive cues in their tissue environment. Axonal growth cones and endothelial tip cells also respond to signals belonging to the same molecular families, such as Slits and Roundabouts, Netrins and UNC5 receptors, Semaphorins, Plexins and Neuropilins, and Eph receptors and ephrin ligands. Here we summarize fundamental principles of angiogenic growth, the selection and function of tip cells and the underlying regulation by guidance cues, the Notch pathway and vascular endothelial growth factor signaling.

PMID:
20452960
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2857165
Free PMC Article
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