Do endothelial cells dream of eclectic shape?
Authors listKatie Bentley Andrew Philippides Erzsébet Ravasz Regan
Endothelial cells (ECs) exhibit dramatic plasticity of form at the single- and collective-cell level during new vessel growth, adult vascular homeostasis, and pathology. Understanding how, when, and why individual ECs coordinate decisions to change shape, in relation to the myriad of dynamic environmental signals, is key to understanding normal and pathological blood vessel behavior. However, this is a complex spatial and temporal problem. In this review we show that the multidisciplinary field of Adaptive Systems offers a refreshing perspective, common biological language, and straightforward toolkit that cell biologists can use to untangle the complexity of dynamic, morphogenetic systems.