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Molecular Studies on Tissue-Specific Endothelial Cells in Development, Homeostasis and Disease 3.0

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2024 | Viewed by 1494

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Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biomedicine, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas (CIB-CSIC), 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: vascular biology; endothelial cells; intercellular crosstalk; ageing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Endothelial cells (ECs) are not just passive conduits for delivering blood; ECs also have tissue-specific functions that include providing highly specialized sets of angiocrine factors whose expression can be controlled by cell-intrinsic regulatory networks, as well as by a variety of cell-extrinsic biophysical cues found in different areas of the body. Angiocrine factors modulate organ development, homeostasis, metabolism and regeneration, and their alteration could be directly involved in the pathogenesis of multiple conditions. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences will focus on the regulation and functional roles of tissue-specific ECs and angiocrine factors in physiological and pathological contexts, as well as on the therapeutic potential of tailoring ECs to improve human health.

Dr. Ignacio Benedicto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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20 pages, 4005 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Atherosclerotic Mice Reveals a Sex-Dependent Susceptibility to Plaque Calcification but No Major Changes in the Lymphatics in the Arterial Wall
by Carolin Christ, Zsombor Ocskay, Gábor Kovács and Zoltán Jakus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(7), 4046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25074046 - 5 Apr 2024
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Lymphatics participate in reverse cholesterol transport, and their presence in the arterial wall of the great vessels and prior experimental results suggest their possible role in the development of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to characterize the lymphatic vasculature of the [...] Read more.
Lymphatics participate in reverse cholesterol transport, and their presence in the arterial wall of the great vessels and prior experimental results suggest their possible role in the development of atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to characterize the lymphatic vasculature of the arterial wall in atherosclerosis. Tissue sections and tissue-cleared aortas of wild-type mice unveiled significant differences in the density of the arterial lymphatic network throughout the arterial tree. Male and female Ldlr−/− and ApoE−/− mice on a Western diet showed sex-dependent differences in plaque formation and calcification. Female mice on a Western diet developed more calcification of atherosclerotic plaques than males. The lymphatic vessels within the aortic wall of these mice showed no major changes regarding the number of lymphatic junctions and end points or the lymphatic area. However, female mice on a Western diet showed moderate dilation of lymphatic vessels in the abdominal aorta and exhibited indications of increased peripheral lymphatic function, findings that require further studies to understand the role of lymphatics in the arterial wall during the development of atherosclerosis. Full article
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15 pages, 5817 KiB  
Article
Fibroblasts and Endothelial Cells in Three-Dimensional Models: A New Tool for Addressing the Pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis as a Prototype of Fibrotic Vasculopathies
by Caterina Bodio, Alessandra Milesi, Paola Adele Lonati, Cecilia Beatrice Chighizola, Alessandro Mauro, Luca Guglielmo Pradotto, Pier Luigi Meroni, Maria Orietta Borghi and Elena Raschi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(5), 2780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25052780 - 28 Feb 2024
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Two-dimensional in vitro cultures have represented a milestone in biomedical and pharmacological research. However, they cannot replicate the architecture and interactions of in vivo tissues. Moreover, ethical issues regarding the use of animals have triggered strategies alternative to animal models. The development of [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional in vitro cultures have represented a milestone in biomedical and pharmacological research. However, they cannot replicate the architecture and interactions of in vivo tissues. Moreover, ethical issues regarding the use of animals have triggered strategies alternative to animal models. The development of three-dimensional (3D) models offers a relevant tool to investigate disease pathogenesis and treatment, modeling in vitro the in vivo environment. We aimed to develop a dynamic 3D in vitro model for culturing human endothelial cells (ECs) and skin fibroblasts, simulating the structure of the tissues mainly affected in systemic sclerosis (SSc), a prototypical autoimmune fibrotic vasculopathy. Dermal fibroblasts and umbilical vein ECs grown in scaffold or hydrogel, respectively, were housed in bioreactors under flow. Fibroblasts formed a tissue-like texture with the deposition of a new extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECs assembled tube-shaped structures with cell polarization. The fine-tuned dynamic modular system allowing 3D fibroblast/EC culture connection represents a valuable model of the in vivo interplay between the main players in fibrotic vasculopathy as SSc. This model can lead to a more accurate study of the disease’s pathogenesis, avoiding the use of animals, and to the development of novel therapies, possibly resulting in improved patient management. Full article
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