Angiogenesis, the formation of new vessels during development, in response to injury and tumor angiogenic factors is a dynamic process that is controlled by many diverse, sometimes complex factors acting together in a local environment. The principal cell type involved in the process of angiogenesis is the microvascular endothelial cell. This cell type is quite distinct from the endothelia lining the larger vessels of the circulatory system in its normal physiological functions and in its response to injury (Madri et al., 1991, 1992a, b). Following denudation injury (angioplasty, endarterectomy, synthetic and autologous bypass grafting), large-vessel endothelial cells undergo sheet migration that is modulated by both existing and newly synthesized extracellular matrix components and soluble factors (Madri et al., 1988b, 1991, 1992a, b; Madri and Bell, 1992). In contrast, following injury, microvascular endothelial cells initiate an angiogenic process also modulated by both existing and newly synthesized extracellular matrix components and soluble factors, consisting of local disruption of their investing basement membrane, migration into the local interstitial stroma, cell proliferation, new vessel formation, stabilization, and eventually involution of the newly formed vascular bed (Madri and Pratt, 1988; Madri and Marx, 1992; Madri et al., 1992a, b; Marx et al., 1994). Distinct behavioral patterns exhibited by these two different endothelial cell populations have led to the development of the hypothesis that large-vessel endothelial cells exhibit “dysfunctional” behavior in response to injury-induced changes in the extracellular matrix and soluble factor environments, favoring the development of arteriosclerosis.
KeywordsTube Formation Microvascular Endothelial Cell Type Versus Collagen Germinal Matrix Smooth Muscle Cell Migration
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