Leigh Coultas, Kallayanee Chawengsaksophak and Janet Rossant
Nature 438, 937-945 (15 December 2005) | doi:10.1038/nature04479
The intricate patterning processes that establish the complex vascular system during development depend on a combination of intrinsic pre-patterning and extrinsic responses to environmental parameters. Mutational studies in mice and fish have shown that the vascular system is highly sensitive to genetic disruption and have identified potential targets for therapeutic interventions. New insights into non-vascular roles of vascular endothelial growth factor and the requirement for endothelial cells in adult organs and stem-cell niches highlight possible side effects of anti-angiogenic therapy and the need for new targets.