Sprouting and anastomosis in the Drosophila trachea and the vertebrate vasculature: similarities and differences in cell behaviour

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Maria Paraskevi KotiniMarkus Affolter


Branching morphogenesis is a fascinating process whereby a simple network of biological tubes increases its complexity by adding new branches to existing ones, generating an enlarged structure of interconnected tubes. Branching morphogenesis has been studied extensively in animals and much has been learned about the regulation of branching at the cellular and molecular level. Here, we discuss studies of the Drosophila trachea and of the vertebrate vasculature, which have revealed how new branches are formed and connect (anastomose), leading to the establishment of complex tubular networks. We briefly describe the cell behaviour underlying tracheal and vascular branching. Although similar at many levels, the branching and anastomosis processes characterized thus far show a number of differences in cell behaviour, resulting in somewhat different tube architectures in these two organs. We describe the similarities and the differences and discuss them in the context of their possible developmental significance. We finish by highlighting some old and new data, which suggest that live imaging of the development of capillary beds in adult animals might reveal yet unexplored endothelial behaviour of endothelial cells.

Related Concepts

Anastomosis, Surgical
Diagnostic Imaging
Pathologic Neovascularization
Biomedical Tube Device
Branching (Qualifier Value)
Endothelial Cells
Capillary Bed

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