Born to Die: Blood Vessel Regression Research Coming of Age
Blood vessel network formation is a pivotal process of physiologic development as well as pathological conditions such as tumor growth, diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular diseases1,2. During neovascularization, vasculogenesis is followed by the well described process of sprouting angiogenesis, including tip cell induction and selection, sprout elongation and stalk formation, leading to the formation of a dense primary vascular network1,2. To match vessel perfusion with the local metabolic demand of the tissue, initial sprouting angiogenesis is followed by vessel pruning and maturation to form a hierarchically defined vascular network of large arteries and veins branching into smaller capillaries1,2. Although the phenomenon of vessel regression has already been described by Rouget in 18373 and further characterized by Ashton in 19614, the mechanisms of vessel pruning and the signaling pathways controlling this process are still largely undefined. (SELECT FULL TEXT TO CONTINUE)
- Received May 22, 2012.
- Accepted May 24, 2012.
- Copyright © 2012, American Heart Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited