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Laying the groundwork for growth: Cell–cell and cell–ECM interactions in cardiovascular development

Authors

  • Stephanie L. K. Bowers,

    1. Division of Molecular Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, Texas, USA
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  • Troy A. Baudino

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Molecular Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Temple, Texas, USA
    • Texas A&M Health Science Center, Cardiovascular Research Institute, 1901 S. First St, Bldg 205, Temple, TX 76504
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Abstract

Cardiac development is reliant upon the spatial and temporal regulation of both genetic and chemical signals. Central to the communication of these signals are direct interactions between cells and their surrounding environment. The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an integral role in cell communication and tissue growth throughout development by providing both structural support and chemical signaling factors. The present review discusses elements of cell–cell and cell–ECM interactions involved in cardiogenesis, and how disruption of these interactions can result in numerous heart defects. Examining the relationships between cells and their immediate environment has implications for novel and existing therapeutic strategies to combating congenital disorders. Birth Defects Research (Part C) 90:1–7, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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