The formation of blood vessels is an essential aspect of embryogenesis in vertebrates. It is a central feature of numerous post-embryonic processes, including tissue and organ growth and regeneration. It is also part of the pathology of tumour formation and certain inflammatory conditions.
In recent years, comprehension of the molecular genetics of blood vessel formation has progressed enormously and studies in vertebrate model systems, especially the mouse and the zebrafish, have identified a common set of molecules and processes that are conserved throughout vertebrate embryogenesis while, in addition, highlighting aspects that may differ between different animal groups.
The discovery in the past decade of the crucial role of new blood vessel formation for the development of cancers has generated great interest in angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones), with its major implications for potential cancer-control strategies. In addition, there are numerous situations where therapeutic treatments either require or would be assisted by vasculogenesis (the de novo formation of blood vessels). In particular, post-stroke therapies could include treatments that stimulate neovascularization of the affected tissues.
The development of such treatments, however, requires thoroughly understanding the developmental properties of endothelial cells and the basic biology of blood vessel formation.
While there are many books on angiogenesis, this book focuses on exactly this basic biology and explores blood vessel formation in connection with tissue development in a range of animal models. It includes detailed discussions of relevant cell biology, genetics and embryogenesis of blood vessel formation and presents insights into the cross-talk between developing blood vessels and other tissues.
With contributions from vascular biologists, cell biologists and developmental biologists, a comprehensive and highly interdisciplinary volume is the outcome.