Previously, scientists had thought blood vessels in each organ are the same, but new evidence suggests that each organ requires specific blood vessels with unique shape and function that support the metabolic demands of the specific organ. Shahin Rafii, from Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, USA), and colleagues have discovered that endothelial cells – cells that make up the structure of blood vessels – possess tissue-specific genes that code for unique growth factors, adhesion molecules, and factors that regulate metabolism. The studies show that endothelial cells, and the organs they are transplanted into, work together to repair damage and restore function.
Nolan DJ, Ginsberg M, Israely E, Palikuqi B, Poulos MG, Rafii S, et al. “Molecular signatures of tissue-specific microvascular endothelial cell heterogeneity in organ maintenance and regeneration.” Dev Cell. 2013 Jul 29;26(2):204-19.
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