A systems biology view of blood vessel growth and remodelling

Authors

  • Elizabeth A. Logsdon,

    1. Institute for Computational Medicine and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Stacey D. Finley,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Aleksander S. Popel,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Feilim Mac Gabhann

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Computational Medicine and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    • Correspondence to: Feilim MAC GABHANN, Ph.D., Institute for Computational Medicine and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

      Tel.: 410-516-4723

      Fax: 410-516-5294

      E-mail: feilim@jhu.edu

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Abstract

Blood travels throughout the body in an extensive network of vessels – arteries, veins and capillaries. This vascular network is not static, but instead dynamically remodels in response to stimuli from cells in the nearby tissue. In particular, the smallest vessels – arterioles, venules and capillaries – can be extended, expanded or pruned, in response to exercise, ischaemic events, pharmacological interventions, or other physiological and pathophysiological events. In this review, we describe the multi-step morphogenic process of angiogenesis – the sprouting of new blood vessels – and the stability of vascular networks in vivo. In particular, we review the known interactions between endothelial cells and the various blood cells and plasma components they convey. We describe progress that has been made in applying computational modelling, quantitative biology and high-throughput experimentation to the angiogenesis process.

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