Transcription Factors Regulating Embryonic Development of Pulmonary Vasculature

Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol. 2018;228:1-20. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-68483-3_1.


Lung morphogenesis is a highly orchestrated process beginning with the appearance of lung buds on approximately embryonic day 9.5 in the mouse. Endodermally derived epithelial cells of the primitive lung buds undergo branching morphogenesis to generate the tree-like network of epithelial-lined tubules. The pulmonary vasculature develops in close proximity to epithelial progenitor cells in a process that is regulated by interactions between the developing epithelium and underlying mesenchyme. Studies in transgenic and knockout mouse models demonstrate that normal lung morphogenesis requires coordinated interactions between cells lining the tubules, which end in peripheral saccules, juxtaposed to an extensive network of capillaries. Multiple growth factors, microRNAs, transcription factors, and their associated signaling cascades regulate cellular proliferation, migration, survival, and differentiation during formation of the peripheral lung. Dysregulation of signaling events caused by gene mutations, teratogens, or premature birth causes severe congenital and acquired lung diseases in which normal alveolar architecture and the pulmonary capillary network are disrupted. Herein, we review scientific progress regarding signaling and transcriptional mechanisms regulating the development of pulmonary vasculature during lung morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / embryology*
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Pulmonary Artery / embryology*
  • Pulmonary Veins / embryology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / cytology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / embryology
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Transcription Factors