Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Nix, M.K., Hirschi, K.K. 2006. Assaying endothelial-mural cell interactions. In: Staton, C.A., Lewis, C., Bicknell, R., editors. Angiogenesis Assays: A Critical Appraisal of Current Techniques. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 123-137. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Recent studies in genetically malleable embryonic model systems have enabled the identification of factors required for blood vessel formation. However, it is not possible in most in vivo systems to dissect carefully the exact cellular behaviours, as well as cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that such factors modulate. Thus, it has been imperative to develop in vitro systems to analyse further the cellular role of vascular-associated factors, and elucidate their intracellular signalling pathways. Such systems are also helpful for identifying new factors that regulate vascular cell growth, migration, and differentiation. Although much information has been gained from investigating cellular behaviours in solo cultures of endothelial or mural cells, factors involved in heterocellular interactions such as junctional proteins, adhesion molecules, and soluble paracrine effectors, can only be studied in co-culture assay systems. Herein, we will discuss two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) co-culture systems that have been developed to address these issues.