Angiocrine functions of organ-specific endothelial cells.
Endothelial cells that line capillaries are not just passive conduits for delivering blood. Tissue-specific endothelium establishes specialized vascular niches that deploy sets of growth factors, known as angiocrine factors. These cues participate actively in the induction, specification, patterning and guidance of organ regeneration, as well as in the maintainance of homeostasis and metabolism. When upregulated following injury, they orchestrate self-renewal and differentiation of tissue-specific resident stem and progenitor cells into functional organs. Uncovering the mechanisms by which organotypic endothelium distributes physiological levels of angiocrine factors both spatially and temporally will lay the foundation for clinical trials that promote organ repair without scarring.