Transformation of Vascular Endothelial Cells into Multipotent Stem-Like Cells: Role of the Activin-Like Kinase 2 Receptor

  • Damian Medici
  • Bjorn R. Olsen
Part of the Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells book series (STEM, volume 8)


Vascular endothelial cells demonstrate remarkable plasticity and differentiate into other cell types during embryonic development and disease progression. This occurs through a process known as endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in which endothelial cells acquire properties of mesenchymal stem cells, including multipotency. In this chapter, we will discuss current evidence of EndMT and its contribution to the generation of stem cell phenotype. We will describe the role of EndMT in generating fibroblasts or myofibroblasts in cardiac development, cancer and fibrosis, as well as EndMT-dependent formation of heterotopic bone. Finally, we will discuss the biochemical signaling mechanisms that control EndMT and strategies to inhibit this change in cellular phenotype.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Polylactic Acid Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein Heterotopic Ossification Mural Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Developmental BiologyHarvard School of Dental MedicineBostonUSA

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