Research Topic

Vascular Endothelial Cells in Health and Disease: Relevance to Energy Metabolism, Inflammation, Lipid Disorders, and Metabolic Disease

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The vascular system plays important roles in the function and homeostasis of all tissues in the body. The luminal surface of blood vessels is lined by a layer of specialized endothelial cells, the endothelium, which also supports important functions beyond lining the vessel walls. The endothelium filters ...

The vascular system plays important roles in the function and homeostasis of all tissues in the body. The luminal surface of blood vessels is lined by a layer of specialized endothelial cells, the endothelium, which also supports important functions beyond lining the vessel walls. The endothelium filters fluids, traffics nutrients such as glucose, fatty acids, lipoproteins, and hormones such as insulin and growth factors, and secretes bioactive molecules. As a result, endothelial cells modulate structural and functional aspects of the vasculature such as vessel growth, tone and permeability and contribute to the regulation of tissue metabolism. Endothelial cells are heterogeneous with distinct properties and functions suited to the needs of the organs they vascularize. This cell heterogeneity and endothelial cell interactions with matrix proteins and with platelets and immune cells have been suggested to play an important role in the maintenance of tissue function and health.

Multiple factors and conditions can cause endothelial dysfunction resulting in impaired tissue health. Endothelial dysfunction can affect endothelial vasoactivity, filtration and transport, cause inflammation and a shift to pro-thrombic properties. Overnutrition and obesity result in inflammation and cause endothelial dysfunction and the accumulation of extracellular matrix. These events can associate with reduced delivery of nutrients and hormones leading to tissue insulin resistance and ultimately to abnormalities of systemic metabolism. Endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, inflammation, vascular remodeling and atherosclerosis are common risk factors for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart or kidney failure, etc.

This Research Topic aims to highlight the role of the endothelium in tissue physiology and metabolic health with particular emphasis on the role of nutritional, environmental or genetic factors. Original research articles that report new findings in fundamental, basic or clinical disciplines are welcome as well as timely reviews of recent progress in endothelial research. Original research articles and reviews should be submitted to the “Lipid and Fatty Acid Research” section within “Frontiers in Physiology”.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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