Control of coronary vascular cell fate in development and regeneration.
McCracken IR., Smart N.
The coronary vasculature consists of a complex hierarchal network of arteries, veins, and capillaries which collectively function to perfuse the myocardium. However, the pathways controlling the temporally and spatially restricted mechanisms underlying the formation of this vascular network remain poorly understood. In recent years, the increasing use and refinement of transgenic mouse models has played an instrumental role in offering new insights into the cellular origins of the coronary vasculature, as well as identifying a continuum of transitioning cell states preceding the full maturation of the coronary vasculature. Coupled with the emergence of single cell RNA sequencing platforms, these technologies have begun to uncover the key regulatory factors mediating the convergence of distinct cellular origins to ensure the formation of a collectively functional, yet phenotypically diverse, vascular network. Furthermore, improved understanding of the key regulatory factors governing coronary vessel formation in the embryo may provide crucial clues into future therapeutic strategies to reactivate these developmentally functional mechanisms to drive the revascularisation of the ischaemic adult heart.