Relevance of disease- and organ-specific endothelial cells for in vitro research

Authors

  • Karla Lehle,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany
      To whom correspondence should be addressed (email karla.lehle@klinik.uni-regensburg.de).
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  • Rainer H Straub,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany
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  • Henning Morawietz,

    1. Department of Vascular Endothelium and Microcirculation, Medical Clinic and Policlinic III, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Leoni A Kunz-Schughart

    1. OncoRay Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Part of a series marking the 70th birthday of the Cell Biology International Editor-in-Chief Denys Wheatley

To whom correspondence should be addressed (email karla.lehle@klinik.uni-regensburg.de).

Abstract

The endothelium is a dynamic, heterogeneous, disseminated organ that possesses vital secretory, synthetic, metabolic and immunological functions. Endothelial dysfunction has been implicated as a key factor in the development of organ-specific vascular diseases. This minireview gives a brief overview on EC (endothelial cell) biomarkers in arterial and venous endothelium and critically discusses the different sources of ECs that are most frequently applied in in vitro assays and research. The relevance of organ- and disease-specific endothelial cell cultures for studying cellular responses as a basis for improving therapeutic interventions is highlighted with particular emphasis on endothelial dysfunction in transplant-associated coronary artery disease, in atherosclerotic lesions and in response to diabetes mellitus.

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