Cell biology of endothelial cells

Hum Pathol. 1987 Mar;18(3):234-9. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(87)80005-9.


Endothelial cells are a source of physiologically important molecules synthesized therein and secreted to the blood and/or to the subendothelial extracellular matrix. These molecules participate in formation of platelet and fibrin thrombi (e.g., von Willebrand factor and tissue factor) and contribute to antithrombotic properties of the endothelium (e.g., prostacyclin, thrombomodulin, and heparan sulfate). Endothelial cells synthesize and secrete plasminogen activator and inhibitors. They are the source of molecules regulating the growth of other cells; they synthesize angiotensin-converting enzyme, and bind lipoproteins and hormones. Finally, they are the target for, and participant in, immune reactions. Thus, endothelial cells constitute not only the first barrier between the blood and the extravascular space but also serve as a source of molecules influencing the structural and functional integrity of the circulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation
  • Endothelium / physiology*
  • Endothelium / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Thrombosis / physiopathology*