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Organization and signaling of endothelial cell-to-cell junctions in various regions of the blood and lymphatic vascular trees


Details
Publication Date: 
01/01/2009
Authors: 
Dejana E, Orsenigo F, Molendini C, Baluk P and McDonald DM
Citation: 
Cell Tissue Res., 335(1):17-25
DOI: 
10.1007/s00441-008-0694-5
Abstract

Adhesive intercellular junctions between endothelial cells are formed by tight junctions and adherens junctions. In addition to promoting cell-to-cell adhesion, these structures regulate paracellular permeability, contact inhibition of endothelial cell growth, cell survival, and maintenance of cell polarity. Furthermore, adherens junctions are required for the correct organization of new vessels during embryo development or during tissue proliferation in the adult. Extensive research on cultured epithelial and endothelial cells has resulted in the identification of many molecular components of tight junctions and adherens junctions. Such studies have revealed the complexity of these structures, which are formed by membrane-associated adhesion proteins and a network of several intracellular signaling partners. This review focuses on the structural organization of junctional structures and their functional interactions in the endothelium of blood vessels and lymphatics. We emphasize the way that these structures regulate endothelial cell homeostasis by transferring specific intracellular signals and by modulating activation and signaling of growth factor receptors.