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NEW MOLECULAR MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN VASCULAR MATURATION AND MYOGENESYS IN VERTEBRATE DEVELOPMENT

Objective

The vascular system is the first organ to form and function during embryonic development. Its correct development is essential for the proper formation of vertebrate embryos as well as for adulthood. Although much attention has been focused on the genetic requirements for early vascular development (vasculogenesis), the mechanisms controlling later stages of blood vessel development (angiogenesis and vascular myogenesis) are largely unknown. In the past, we have successfully used the embryological and genetic attributes of the zebrafish model to study endothelial cell (EC) development: we identified regulators of blood vessel integrity and characterized vascular mural cells (MC). Here, we propose to identify new mechanisms involved in angiogenesis (formation of new vessels) and blood vessel myogenesis (maturation of vessels) focusing on the reciprocal relationship between EC and their surrounding microenvironment, including MC. Using a set of new cellular, molecular, and genetic approaches as well as advanced microscopy techniques, I propose to elucidate how endothelial and mural cells cooperate to shape the cardiovascular system and regulate vascular maturation and myogenesis. The long-term goal is to provide additional molecular entry points to further investigate EC maturation and MC development/differentiation in normal and pathological conditions using the zebrafish vertebrate system. To my knowledge this is a new research area in the cardiovascular field never investigate before.

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2009-RG
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI TORINO
Address
Via Giuseppe Verdi 8
10124 Torino
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Lorenzo Silengo (Prof.)