The development of the embryonic blood vascular and lymphatic systems requires the coordinated action of several transcription factors and growth factors that target endothelial and periendothelial cells. However, according to recent studies, the precise "wiring" of the vascular system does not occur without an ordered series of guidance decisions involving several molecules initially discovered for axons in the nervous system, including ephrins, netrins, slits, and semaphorins. Here, we summarize the new advances in our understanding of the roles of these axonal pathfinding molecules in vascular remodeling and vessel guidance, indicating that neuronal axons and vessel sprouts use common molecular mechanisms for navigation in the body.
2005. Vol. 19, no 9