About this Research Topic
A crucial issue in physiology and pathophysiology is to better understand the mechanisms that drive vascular health and disease. In this direction, the endothelial layer, once considered to be inert, is increasingly being recognized as a critical component of vascular health. This layer is, by virtue of its location, an interface between flowing blood and the tissue and is thus a converging site of inflammation whereby immune cells adhere to the vessel wall, followed by their transmigration into tissue. The endothelial is critical in maintenance of vascular tone that is achieved via regulation of the signaling processes that drive vasodilation and vasoconstriction. Additionally the endothelial layer also facilitates glucose and amino acid transport, coagulation response to injury, thrombosis, angiogenesis and metastatic disease. The regulation of these functions involve multiple signaling pathways with participation of oxidants, kinases, ion channels, growth factors, endothelial receptors and myriad other moieties, that affect vascular permeability, inflammation and immune signaling, oxidative injury and its resolution, and ultimately form the basis of structural and functional changes that are pivotal to our survival.
However, endothelial signaling and responses are highly heterogeneous and differ depending on the stimuli and on the vascular bed making it imperative to understand the endothelial signaling mechanisms in various contexts. Toward this direction, our Research Topic aims to highlight the heterogeneity of endothelial signaling that leads to diverse responses by focusing on original research and review articles that will provide insights into signaling processes that maintain or disrupt vascular structure and function. Additionally, we will also showcase emerging non-invasive technologies such as MRI that have demonstrated potential for evaluating impaired endothelial function and vascular reactivity noninvasively. These methods should prove useful for examining the effects of life-style related changes to the vascular system in the preclinical and clinical setting. Collectively this Topic will shed light on endothelial signaling in the manifestations of vascular health and disease.
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