Vasculogenesis, the assembly of the first vascular network, is an intriguing developmental process that yields the first functional organ system of the embryo. In addition to being a fundamental part of embryonic development, vasculogenic processes also have medical importance. To explain the organizational principles behind vascular patterning, we must understand how morphogenesis of tissue level structures can be controlled through cell behavior patterns that, in turn, are determined by biochemical signal transduction processes. Mathematical analyses and computer simulations can help conceptualize how to bridge organizational levels and thus help in evaluating hypotheses regarding the formation of vascular networks. Here, we discuss the ideas that have been proposed to explain the formation of the first vascular pattern: cell motility guided by extracellular matrix alignment (contact guidance), chemotaxis guided by paracrine and autocrine morphogens, and sprouting guided by cell-cell contacts.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Birth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology