When it is better to regress: dynamics of vascular pruning

PLoS Biol. 2015 May 15;13(5):e1002148. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002148. eCollection 2015 May.


Blood vascular networks in vertebrates are essential to tissue survival. Establishment of a fully functional vasculature is complex and requires a number of steps including vasculogenesis and angiogenesis that are followed by differentiation into specialized vascular tissues (i.e., arteries, veins, and lymphatics) and organ-specific differentiation. However, an equally essential step in this process is the pruning of excessive blood vessels. Recent studies have shown that pruning is critical for the effective perfusion of blood into tissues. Despite its significance, vessel pruning is the least understood process in vascular differentiation and development. Two recently published PLOS Biology papers provide important new information about cellular dynamics of vascular regression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / growth & development*
  • Vascular Remodeling*