The extensive networks of blood and lymphatic vessels within the vertebrate body are essential for the transport and delivery of fluids, gases, macromolecules and cells, and play important roles in facilitating immune responses. The development of the vascular tree requires a highly coordinated interplay of hierarchical genetic and environmental factors, ultimately leading to the formation of a functional network of interconnected tubules that efficiently perfuses tissues. Through the use of various in vitro and in vivo model systems many major interactors in vascular development have been identified in the past decade. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) system in particular offers several advantages for in vivo studies, and has played a pivotal role in new discoveries within the angiogenesis field (Lawson and Weinstein, 2002). Further understanding of the mechanisms whereby blood and lymphatic vessels form is an important question that could yield therapeutic options to alleviate vascular disorders, which are leading causes of mortality.

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S. Schulte-Merker (Stefan) , D.J.G.M. Duncker (Dirk)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Netherlands Heart Foundation,J.E. Jurriaanse Stichting
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Herpers, R.L.J.M. (2010, March 31). Genetic Regulation of Vascular Development: Building the Zebrafish Vascular Tree. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from