Abstract

Here, by Chapter 196 of a volume exploring the endothelium in medicine, it has become clear that this is an astonishingly diverse and far-reaching subject. Identified for the first time only at the end of the nineteenth century, the once seemingly simple and passive cell layer is now understood to represent a dynamic system that reflects and determines much about health and function for humans and other vertebrate species. This collection of chapters shows how far we have come in our understanding, and also how rich the opportunities are for further study and more effective translation of our understanding into clinical practice. There is great virtue in bringing together all these topics that would normally reside in the archives of separate disciplines. We have gained many different perspectives of what the endothelium is and how endothelial cells (ECs) come together as a functioning system. By reflecting on the way the endothelium develops and by comparing phenotypes across different species, we gain insights into the alternatives available and what any particular developmental pathway means for the organism. This helps us understand the endothelium as a highly evolved, integrated system. The system is by no means perfect. Rather it is an interlocking “bundle of adaptations,” some of which were born of trade-offs that are no longer applicable. Indeed, the extreme path-dependence of evolutionary change has undoubtedly engendered design flaws that render the modern-day human endothelium highly vulnerable to disease. The use of metaphors to conceptualize the endothelium is a powerful tool for understanding an otherwise hidden and under-appreciated entity. We hope that the reader will agree that the analogies between endothelium and weather, landscape, and urban design are at the same time provocative and illuminating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEndothelial Biomedicine
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages1815-1816
Number of pages2
Volume9780521853767
ISBN (Print)9780511546198, 0521853761, 9780521853767
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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Endothelium
Endothelial cells
Medicine
Dynamical systems
Cells
Health
Defects
Metaphor
Weather
Vertebrates
Endothelial Cells
Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Maienschein, J., Laubichler, M., & Aird, W. C. (2007). Conclusion. In Endothelial Biomedicine (Vol. 9780521853767, pp. 1815-1816). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511546198.197

Conclusion. / Maienschein, Jane; Laubichler, Manfred; Aird, William C.

Endothelial Biomedicine. Vol. 9780521853767 Cambridge University Press, 2007. p. 1815-1816.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Maienschein, J, Laubichler, M & Aird, WC 2007, Conclusion. in Endothelial Biomedicine. vol. 9780521853767, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1815-1816. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511546198.197
Maienschein J, Laubichler M, Aird WC. Conclusion. In Endothelial Biomedicine. Vol. 9780521853767. Cambridge University Press. 2007. p. 1815-1816 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511546198.197
Maienschein, Jane ; Laubichler, Manfred ; Aird, William C. / Conclusion. Endothelial Biomedicine. Vol. 9780521853767 Cambridge University Press, 2007. pp. 1815-1816
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