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Blood vessel formation is critical to life and its manipulation is instrumental to a number of diseases. Because the growing embryo needs nutrients and oxygen for delivery, the circulatory system is the first of all organ systems that form. Endothelial cells, the cells that line all the vessels of the circulatory system in an organism, are derived from stem cells. They become specialized under specific conditions and factors. As the embryo grows and develops, the vasculature of the organism expands, remodels, and specializes to adapt to the requirements of the tissues it supplies. Eventually, the endothelium specializes to form arteries, veins, and the hemogenic and lymphatic subtypes in order to fulfill the diverse functions of the vasculature. Endothelial cells also have the ability to attract ...

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