“Coordination of endothelial cell maturation and patterning by the epicardium”
The coronary plexus arises from the integration of endothelial cells (ECs) with supportive mural cells and signals stemming from the epicardium. Synchronized with coronary remodeling, the epicardium undergoes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation (EMT); a process that regulates cell differentiation and growth factor secretion. Genetic mouse models with limited epicardial EMT have reduced subepicardial mesenchyme formation in addition to dysfunctional vasculature networks, yet the mechanisms underlying this catastrophic phenotype are unknown. Our lab aims to identify the specialized epicardial cells guiding the specification of the coronary plexus. To achieve this goal, we utilize cell-lineage tracing models coupled with the investigation of transcriptional programs from epicardial cells and ECs using single cell RNA sequencing. The epicardium’s role in facilitating arterio-venous specification is emerging as a novel mechanism to support regenerative-based medicine. Our essential goal is to identify fetal vascular guidance cues that may be harnessed for the development of therapies to treat vascular diseases.
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Meeting ID: 951 0439 2930