Phenotypic Heterogeneity of the Endothelium: I. Structure, Function, and Mechanisms

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Abstract

Abstract—

Endothelial cells, which form the inner cellular lining of blood vessels and lymphatics, display remarkable heterogeneity in structure and function. This is the first of a 2-part review focused on phenotypic heterogeneity of blood vessel endothelium. This review provides an historical perspective of our understanding of endothelial heterogeneity, discusses the scope of phenotypic diversity across the vascular tree, and addresses proximate and evolutionary mechanisms of endothelial cell heterogeneity. The overall goal is to underscore the importance of phenotypic heterogeneity as a core property of the endothelium.

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