Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Dec;22(9):993-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 May 20.

Tubulogenesis during blood vessel formation.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


The ability to form and maintain a functional system of contiguous hollow tubes is a critical feature of vascular endothelial cells (ECs). Lumen formation, or tubulogenesis, occurs in blood vessels during both vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in the embryo. Formation of vascular lumens takes place prior to the establishment of blood flow and to vascular remodeling which results in a characteristic hierarchical vessel organization. While epithelial lumen formation has received intense attention in past decades, more recent work has only just begun to elucidate the mechanisms controlling the initiation and morphogenesis of endothelial lumens. Studies using in vitro and in vivo models, including zebrafish and mammals, are beginning to paint an emerging picture of how blood vessels establish their characteristic morphology and become patent. In this article, we review and discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving the formation of vascular tubes, primarily in vivo, and we compare and contrast proposed models for blood vessel lumen formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center