Molecular pathways that control the specification, migration, and number of available smooth muscle progenitor cells play key roles in determining blood vessel size and structure, capacity for tissue repair, and progression of age-related disorders. Defects in these pathways produce malformations of developing blood vessels, depletion of smooth muscle progenitor cell pools for vessel wall maintenance and repair, and aberrant activation of alternative differentiation pathways in vascular disease. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that uniquely specify and maintain vascular smooth muscle cell precursors is essential if we are to use advances in stem and progenitor cell biology and somatic cell reprogramming for applications directed to the vessel wall.
- stem cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine