Developmental Biology of the Pulmonary Vascular Bed

  • M. Rabinovitch

Abstract

A fundamental understanding of the developmental biology of the pulmonary vascular bed is necessary to unravel the complexities of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, and of pulmonary hypertension secondary to congenital heart defects. The new focus is on the cellular and molecular biology of the vessel wall. Abnormalities in endothelial smooth muscle interactions, leading to smooth muscle differentiation, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, and migration into the subendothelium may explain and ultimately lead to the control of heightened pulmonary vascular reactivity and may allow us to induce regression of structural changes that preclude corrective cardiac surgery in the neonate. This chapter will discuss what is known about normal and abnormal pulmonary vascular development related to functional properties of the perinatal circulation. The structural response to specific perturbations will be addressed and the discussion will be directed to an exploration of unanswered questions through new avenues in research.

Keywords

Migration Heparin Serotonin Prostaglandin Cardiol 

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  • M. Rabinovitch

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