Making Split Decisions

Science Signaling  13 Oct 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 92, pp. ec337
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.292ec337

Development of the vertebrate vasculature has been thought to involve just two mechanisms of blood vessel formation. Herbert et al. (see the Perspective by Benedito and Adams) identified a third mechanism in zebrafish in which two distinct, unconnected vessels can be derived from a single precursor vessel. Several vascular endothelial growth factors and signaling pathways, including ephrin and notch signaling, coordinated the sorting and segregation of a mixture of arterial and venous-fated precursor cells into distinct arterial and venous vessels. These findings provide a mechanistic framework for how mixed populations of cells can coordinate their behavior to segregate and form distinct blood vessels.

S. P. Herbert, J. Huisken, T. N. Kim, M. E. Feldman, B. T. Houseman, R. A. Wang, K. M. Shokat, D. Y. R. Stainier, Arterial-venous segregation by selective cell sprouting: An alternative mode of blood vessel formation. Science 326, 294–298 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Benedito, R. H. Adams, Aorta’s cardinal secret. Science 326, 242–243 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]