On the Possible Role of Endothelial Cell Heterogeneity in Angiogenesis

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 285)


The endothelial cell (EC1) lining of all blood conduits and lymphatics performs a large array of pivotal physiological functions. The generation of new blood vessels by vasculogenesis and/or angiogenesis is but one of the complex issues of the multifaceted physiology of vascular ECs (34,73,75). Functional and immunological heterogeneity, for example between venous and arterial ECs, or ECs lining large vessels and microvessels, is another manifestation of the complex biology of these pluripotent cells (22,78,93). Since the generation of new blood vessels is a highly organized, localized event which occurs in organ/tissue-specific microvasculature, we hypothesize that the local microenvironment of “angiogenic” microvessels may contain unique, site-specific cues which contribute to EC heterogeneity and which, in turn, makes these ECs especially prone to activation by angiogenic stimuli. In the wake of our increased awareness of the intricacies of both angiogenesis and endothelial cell heterogeneity, we have begun to explore possible connections between these two seemingly unrelated concepts.


Endothelial Cell Adenylyl Cyclase Human Endothelial Cell Cyclic Strain cAMP Signaling 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lab. Cell Biology, Milwaukee Clinical CampusUniv. Wisconsin Med SchoolMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Clonetics CorporationSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Dept. BiologyMarquette UniversityMilwaukeeUSA

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