About this Research Topic
Blood and lymphatic vascular networks interact with all body tissues, and are essential for organ functioning in development, physiology and disease. The inner lining of these networks is formed by a single layer of vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells (ECs). They form a barrier which regulates the traffic of oxygen, metabolites, small molecules, and immune cells into the respective tissue. Despite sharing a mesodermal origin and some common functions, these cells are not all alike. ECs exhibit distinct morphology, molecular and functional properties, depending on the type of vessels or organs they are associated with, thus playing a key role in vascular heterogeneity.
Endothelial specialization has been linked to cell-intrinsic developmental pathways and transcriptional programs, as well as to signals from the micro-environment (which include growth factors, mechanical forces, and metabolic stimuli). However, studies on the molecular processes of endothelial (tissue-specific) specialization are poorly understood. ECs may have a distinct genetic and epigenetic signature, depending on the tissue, organ where they are located and micro-environment with which they are associated. ECs are heterogeneous not only in different vascular types and organs, but may show distinct molecular and phenotypic signatures under physiological and pathological conditions. Therefore, it is of great interest to understand the molecular mechanisms by which ECs play a role in cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurological disorders and malignant tumors, as well as in tissue regeneration.
This research topic will focus on advances in biomedical and biomedical engineering studies of vascular and lymphatic endothelial cell biology, angiogenesis, arteriogenesis and venogenesis, as well as on the vascular niche under physiological and pathological conditions. We welcome original research, reviews and opinion articles, falling under, but not limited to, the following areas:
• Angiogenesis, arteriogenesis, venogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in health and disease;
• Molecular mechanisms of endothelial cell and vascular heterogeneity;
• Signaling pathways and regulation of tissue-specific endothelial differentiation;
• Influence of metabolic environment (epigenetic) on endothelial differentiation and phenotypes;
• Molecular mechanism of vascular development and function;
• Vascular niche in the disease development and therapeutic strategies;
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