The cardiovascular system is the first functional organ system to develop in the vertebrate embryo. Embryonic growth and differentiation essentially depend on transport of nutrients and waste through the early vasculature, and certain events in morphogenesis are thought to be influenced by the hemodynamic forces of the beating heart. The vasculature not only serves as a 'nutrient and waste pipeline' but is also a major communication system between distant organs and tissues. The vascular endothelial cell mediates vascular growth, permeability, integrity and interactions with blood cells. In most tissues the endothelium itself is highly specialized to meet the particular needs of the tissue in terms of quality and quantity of incoming and outgoing molecules and messages.
The areas covered by Morphogenesis of the Endothelium include the formation of blood vessels in embryonic tissues by vasculogenesis and angiogenesis and the differentiation of endothelium in organs. The contributors are leaders in the field of cardiovascular development, biology and pathology and have written up to date chapters on the mechanisms of blood vessel formation and function in embryos and the adult.
1. Structural, Biochemical and Functional Differentiation of the Vascular Endothelium 2. Endothelial Fenestrae and Fenestral Diaphragms 3. Adhesion Molecules in Endothelial Cells and Their Role in Vascular Morphogenesis 4. Development of the Vascular Endothelium in Avian Embryos 5. Development of the Heart, Large Vessels and Coronary Vasculature 6. The Development of the Retinal Vasculature 7. Development of the Blood-Brain-Barrier 8. Development and Growth of the Pulmonary Microvasculature 9. Development of the Kidney Vascular System 10. Development of the Liver Vascular System 11. Development of the Limb Bud Vascular System 12. Development of the Vascular System in Skeletal Muscle 13. Development of the Vascular System in the Corpus Luteum 14. Development of the Vascular System in the Placenta 15. The Development of the Lymph Node Vasculature