Biology of Vascular Development: Mechanisms in Physiological Conditions and Shear Stress

DOI : 10.4067/S0717-95022015000400026
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Iván Rodríguez-Núñez; Fernando Romero; Marcelo González & Ruy R. Campos


Vasculogenesis is controlled by a number of mechanisms that are activated as a function of time and space during embryonic development. Multiple signaling pathways are involved in the stages of vasculogenic process, which start with angiogenic stimuli from the mesoderm or the endoderm to give rise to angioblasts (endothelial progenitor cells). Proteins such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), among others, are key factors in the induction of this process. Subsequently, the angioblasts must migrate to give birth to primitive vessels, a process that involves attractive and repulsive factors that guide the direction of their migration. Additionally, arterial and venous differentiation regulated hedgegog signaling pathway, VEGF and Notch are determined before the start of circulation, suggesting that the endothelial cell fate is determined genetically. On the other hand, the processes of remodeling and postnatal vascular proliferation are generated through the formation of new vessels from pre-existing vessels (angiogenesis). The angiogenic factor that induces morphological and functional changes in the endothelial cells is the VEGFA, these vessels acquire the ability to address the new developing vessel. One of the main physical stimuli that modify the growth pattern of the vascular beds is the shear stress, which is modified by exercise. In this review, the main mechanisms involved in the physiological regulation of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis are addressed. Additionally, the mechanisms underlying the vascular response induced by shear stress will be discussed, considering its role in establishing patterns of vascular growth.

KEY WORDS: Endothelium; Exercise; Physiologic Neovascularization; Angiogenesis Modulating Agents.

How to cite this article

RODRÍGUEZ-NÚÑEZ, I.; ROMERO, F.; GONZÁLEZ, M. & CAMPOS, R. R. Biology of vascular development: mechanisms in physiological conditions and shear stress. Int. J. Morphol., 33(4):1348-1354, 2015.