Patterning the Artery Wall by Lateral Induction of Notch Signaling
Blood vessels exhibit a common structure composed of layers of cells encircling a central lumen. Arteries generally have more layers than veins, and different arteries in the same individual can have different numbers of layers. Since all blood vessels are built around a monolayer of endothelial cells, then the variation in wall structure is due to variable numbers of smooth muscle-containing layers in the tunica media. Indeed, Wolinsky and Glagov's classic paper showed that the relation between lumen diameter and wall thickness across a wide range of mammalian species is a function of the number of layers of smooth muscle and elastic fibers that are present in the arterial media1. Yet precisely how layers of smooth muscle are formed during vascular development and what molecular mechanisms operate to produce different numbers of layers in different blood vessels is still poorly understood. (SELECT FULL TEXT TO CONTINUE)
- Received November 30, 2011.
- Accepted December 2, 2011.
- Copyright © 2011, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited