How vascular networks assemble is a fundamental problem of developmental biology that also has medical importance. To explain the organizational principles behind vascular patterning, we must understand how can tissue level structures be controlled through cell behavior patterns like motility and adhesion that, in turn, are determined by biochemical signal transduction processes? We discuss the various ideas that have been proposed as mechanisms for vascular network assembly: cell motility guided by extracellular matrix alignment (contact guidance), chemotaxis guided by paracrine and autocrine morphogens, and multicellular sprouting guided by cell-cell contacts. All of these processes yield emergent patterns, thus endothelial cells can form an interconnected structure autonomously, without guidance from an external pre-pattern.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)