About this Research Topic
Vascular cells are an important constituent of all tissues. As an organ with high oxygen demand, the heart relies heavily on appropriate perfusion to deliver oxygen and nutrients to cardiomyocytes. Accordingly, endothelial cells are the most abundant cell type in the heart. They do not only play an essential role in the regulation of tissue perfusion and angiogenesis but also promote prenatal heart growth, morphogenesis and early postnatal cardiac regeneration, for example by fostering cardiomyocyte proliferation through paracrine factors. In the adult organism, vascular cells are critically involved in many cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, pulmonary hypertension, hypertrophic heart disease and heart failure.
Vascular cells (endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, adventitial cells and pericytes) are involved in cardiovascular development, regeneration, as well as in many postnatal cardiac and vascular diseases. Although the critical role of vascular cells in cardiac development and disease is widely acknowledged, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly defined. Answers to this and the following questions are needed. For example, how do endothelial cells sense environmental stimuli in the heart? How do vascular cells contribute to intercellular crosstalk during development, regeneration and disease? Are organ-specific vascular features important, what are these features? On the other hand, it remains unclear how vascular cells could be used or targeted in a therapeutic manner, for example for tissue engineering approaches, organoid based modeling or by gene-therapy, RNA, protein or small molecule-based therapeutics.
The following article formats are welcome to address the below-mentioned bullet points or related topics:
Original Research, Brief Research Reports, Methods, technologies, Reviews, Mini-Reviews.
• Basic mechanisms of angiogenesis, vasculogenesis or arteriogenesis
• Vascular cell contribution to cardiovascular diseases? Which regulators are involved?
• Endothelial cells in heart regeneration-what are crucial regulators and mediators?
• Vascular cells in three-dimensional cell culture models and tissue engineering
• Targeted vascular therapies
Keywords: Angiogenesis, vascular therapy, vascular contribution to heart disease, modern OMICS technologies
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