Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Like a zipper – How cells form new blood vessels

03.09.2018

Blood vessel formation relies on the ability of vascular cells to move while remaining firmly connected to each other. This enables the vessels to grow and sprout without leaking any blood. In the current issue of “Nature Communications”, scientists from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel describe how this works. In this process, the cytoskeleton pushes the cell forward, while an adhesion protein subsequently closes the gap to the neighboring cell, like a zipper.

The blood vessels form a widely ramified supply system that passes through our body from head to toe. They serve as pathways for blood cells and transport oxygen as well as nutrients into each individual organ. In the embryo, blood vessels develop simultaneously in many different places, then connect with each other and thus form a complex network. The starting point of vascular growth are the so-called endothelial cells. These can migrate in groups out from a vessel and form new tubes, the capillaries.


Vascular system of a two days old zebrafish embryo (magenta: endothelial cells, light blue: blood cells).

Image: University of Basel, Biozentrum

Prof. Markus Affolter’s team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel uses the zebrafish as a model organism to investigate the development of blood vessels. In their current study, the scientists have shown that endothelial cells can migrate within vessel sprouts while remaining firmly attached to each other. If the cells were unable to remain attached, bleeding into the surrounding tissue would occur during vascularization.

Vascularization: constant rearrangement of endothelial cells

The transparency of the zebrafish embryo allows researchers to observe blood vessel formation live in the living organism. High-resolution time-lapse imaging of vascularization shows that the endothelial cells move over each other to form a capillary, thereby continuously rearranging their position in the newly forming vessel. Dr. Heinz-Georg Belting, head of the study, took a closer look at this process.

Migration and connection of vascular cells

During the rearrangement of the endothelial cells in the vessel, it is important that the cells elongate and migrate while constantly maintaining cell-cell junctions. The adhesion protein VE-cadherin and the cell skeleton play a crucial role in this process. “These two players must work closely together during these active cell movements,” says Belting. “The cytoskeleton takes the first step; it ensures the elongation of the cell. VE-cadherin then anchors the cell protrusions to the neighboring cell. An additional protein finally stabilizes the newly formed endothelial cell junction. This repetitive process enables the cell to slowly creep forward.” This mechanism works like a zipper, as soon as the cell has moved a little, the gap to the adjacent endothelial cell is closed.

Plasticity ensures growth and flexibility

The fact that the endothelial cells are very motile during blood vessel formation and yet always stay firmly connected ensures the plasticity of the vessel while maintaining its stability. “The ability of endothelial cells to recognize each other, to migrate and to form cell junctions prevents damage during growth. Furthermore, the blood vessels are flexible to respond to different conditions, such as fluctuations in blood pressure,” says Belting “This plasticity also plays a role in wound healing, inflammation and immune response.”

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Markus Affolter, University of Basel, Biozentrum, tel. +41 61 207 20 72, email: markus.affolter@unibas.ch

Dr. Katrin Bühler, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Communications, Tel. +41 61 207 09 74, email: katrin.buehler@unibas.ch

Originalpublikation:

Ilkka Paatero, Loïc Sauteur, Minkyoung Lee, Anne K. Lagendijk, Daniel Heutschi, Cora Wiesner, Camilo Gúzman, Dimitri Bieli, Benjamin M. Hogan, Markus Affolter & Heinz-Georg Belting
Junction-based lamellipodia drive endothelial cell rearrangements in vivo via a VE-cadherin-F-actin based oscillatory cell-cell interaction
Nature Communications (2018), doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05851-9

Dr. Katrin Bühler | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel carbon source sustains deep-sea microorganism communities
18.09.2018 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

nachricht New insights into DNA phase separation
18.09.2018 | Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

Im Focus: Graphene enables clock rates in the terahertz range

Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's first passive anti-frosting surface fights ice with ice

18.09.2018 | Materials Sciences

A novel approach of improving battery performance

18.09.2018 | Materials Sciences

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

18.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>