Tracking the mechanisms of artery formation

The progeny of tip cells is incorporated into arteries: genetically labelled tip cells (green) in a vascular plexus (blue) of the retina of a six-day-old mouse (left: twelve hours after the beginning of the experiment). After 96 hours, most of the cells are located in the arteries but not in the veins (right). Credit: MPI f. Molecular Biomedicine/ M.E. Pitulescu

Arteriogenesis is a critical event – not only during development but also in adult life. Cardiovascular life-threatening events, triggered by disease, could be overcome by alternatives to existing therapies, for example by inducing the formation of new arteries. However, the mechanisms of artery formation are not well understood. A team of scientists led by Ralf Adams from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster has developed an elegant genetic approach in mice to uncover molecular mechanisms that coordinate arterial growth. Together with Tilman Borggrefe and colleagues from the Institute of Biochemistry of the Justus-Liebig University of Gießen, they found that a receptor called Notch is crucial in this process: high Notch activity directs sprouting cells of the foremost growth front into developing arteries. This is the first study in mice to show a direct coupling of angiogenic sprouting to artery formation. This knowledge from postnatal development may help in identifying new therapeutic approaches that stimulate growth of new arteries after organ injury.

The blood vessel system forms an intricate network of arteries, veins and capillaries that transports oxygen, nutrients, cells and waste products throughout the body. Accordingly, the vasculature plays very important roles in virtually all of our body functions.

Cardiovascular disorders such as myocardial…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *