Recent advances in growth factor therapy for the treatment of ischemic disease of the heart and peripheral vasculature offer hope for a novel strategy that is based on the generation of a new blood supply. Members of the fibroblast growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor families and several other molecules have all been shown to induce significant angiogenesis in animal models of acute or chronic, myocardial or peripheral ischemia. In addition, it is known that arteries from specific regions in the arterial tree have various developmental origins. This may be one explanation for why arteries of different parts of the arterial tree undergo differential changes during the pathogenesis of vascular disease. There is speculation over several fundamental questions concerning the origin of vessel wall cells and the mechanisms that regulate their development and differentiation. Here we discuss what is known to date about the differential developmental origin of arteries and the possible consequences for therapeutic angiogenesis.
Keywords: ischemic disease, fibroblast growth, disrupted cell contact, hematopoietic progenitors, smooth muscle cells, mesodermal tissue, cytoskeletal markers desmin, vascular endothelial cells, mesenchymal transition failures, angiogenic processes
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