Endothelial to mesenchymal transition: at the axis of cardiovascular health and disease

Fernando Hall Balcazar, Franceska Kishta, Yang Xu, Andrew H Baker, Jason C. Kovacic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Endothelial cells (ECs) line the luminal surface of blood vessels and play a major role in vascular (patho)-physiology by acting as a barrier, sensing circulating factors and intrinsic/extrinsic signals. ECs have the capacity to undergo endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT), a complex differentiation process with key roles both during embryonic development and in adulthood. EndMT can contribute to EC activation and dysfunctional alterations associated with maladaptive tissue responses in human disease. During EndMT, ECs progressively undergo changes leading to expression of mesenchymal markers, while repressing EC lineage-specific traits. This phenotypic and functional switch is considered to largely exist in a continuum, being characterised by a gradation of transitioning stages. In this report we discuss process plasticity and potential reversibility, and the hypothesis that different EndMT-derived cell populations may play a different role in disease progression or resolution. In addition, we review advancements in the EndMT field, current technical challenges as well as therapeutic options and opportunities in the context of cardiovascular biology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiovascular Research
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2024

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