About this Research Topic
The formation of the vascular system begins in the embryo with the process of vasculogenesis, involving endothelial precursors known as angioblasts that give rise to a primitive network of simple endothelial cells defining tubes lacking a lumen. When the heart starts beating, the erythrocytes' entry into the bloodstream establishes a circulation, and the developing vessels undergo morphological and functional changes. Meanwhile, the vasculature expands through angiogenesis, the process of vessel formation from pre-existing ones. Yet, this vascular network is just a rough draft that must undergo extensive remodeling to give rise to mature and stable vessels able to sustain a functional circulatory system. Changes in hemodynamic forces, as well as cellular processes, molecular signals, and metabolic rewiring drive vessel remodeling and maturation. Aberrant vessel growth and remodeling contribute to the pathogenesis of several human disorders. Extending our knowledge of the mechanisms governing vessel development might offer new therapeutic opportunities.
Vascular remodeling, including vessel pruning and regression, as well as maturation and stabilization of the newly formed vessels, are crucial steps required to develop a complex and hierarchically organized functional vasculature. Growing evidence suggests that besides environmental cues (such as hypoxia) and genetic signals (VEGF and Notch), endothelial cell metabolism contributes to the regulation of vessel sprouting and the maintenance of a quiescent endothelial cell phenotype in healthy tissues. Gaining more insights into the mechanisms regulating these physiological processes is essential to further understand pathological angiogenesis and develop new therapeutic approaches for human disorders characterized by vascular defects.
By proposing this Research Topic, we aim to uncover the mechanisms involved in the process of vessel development, with a focus on vascular remodeling and maturation.
The Research Topic welcomes original articles and review submissions covering all the aspects of vessel development and maturation, including but not limited to:
· Endothelial cell origin and transdifferentiation;
· Molecular and metabolic cues governing the phenotypic changes that occur in the transition between primitive and mature vessels;
· Endothelial cell heterogeneity: mechanisms underlying the acquisition of specialized endothelial phenotypes;
· Molecular determinants and cellular processes involved in vessel stabilization by mural cells;
· Pathological outcomes of aberrant vessel maturation.
Keywords: Vessel development, Endothelial cells, Vessel maturation, Angiogenesis, Vascularization
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.