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Science 326 (5950): 242-243

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Development

Aorta's Cardinal Secret

Rui Benedito, and Ralf H. Adams

In vertebrates, blood vessels form a tree-like, tubular network consisting of arteries, capillaries, and veins. In development, tissue repair, or cancer, the vasculature expands by angiogenesis, the growth and reorganization of existing vessels. By contrast, the earliest vascular structures in the embryo and the two major axial blood vessels (dorsal aorta and cardinal vein) are thought to be generated by the direct assembly of endothelial precursor cells (vasculogenesis) (1, 2). However, on page 294 of this issue (3), Herbert et al. challenge this dogma by showing that cardinal vein formation is very different from what was previously thought.

Department of Tissue Morphogenesis, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, 48149 Münster, Germany, and Faculty of Medicine, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany.

E-mail: ralf.adams{at}mpi-muenster.mpg.de


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