Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 314, Issue 1, pp 43–59

Molecular distinction between arteries and veins

  • Jesús Torres-Vázquez
  • Makoto Kamei
  • Brant M. Weinstein
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-003-0771-8

Cite this article as:
Torres-Vázquez, J., Kamei, M. & Weinstein, B.M. Cell Tissue Res (2003) 314: 43. doi:10.1007/s00441-003-0771-8

Abstract

The vertebrate vascular system is essential for the delivery and exchange of gases, hormones, metabolic wastes and immunity factors. These essential functions are carried out in large part by two types of anatomically distinct blood vessels, namely arteries and veins. Previously, circulatory dynamics were thought to play a major role in establishing this dichotomy, but recently it has become clear that arterial and venous endothelial cells are molecularly distinct even before the output of the first embryonic heartbeat, thus revealing the existence of genetic programs coordinating arterial-venous differentiation. Here we review some of the molecular mechanisms involved in this process.

Keywords

Blood vesselsArteriesVeinsEphrinsNotchVascular endothelial growth factor

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesús Torres-Vázquez
    • 1
  • Makoto Kamei
    • 1
  • Brant M. Weinstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, NICHDNIHBethesdaUSA