Holger Gerhardt

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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) is a major regulator of blood vessel formation and function. It controls several processes in endothelial cells, such as proliferation, survival, and migration, but it is not known how these are coordinately regulated to result in more complex morphogenetic events, such as tubular sprouting, fusion, and network(More)
In sprouting angiogenesis, specialized endothelial tip cells lead the outgrowth of blood-vessel sprouts towards gradients of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A. VEGF-A is also essential for the induction of endothelial tip cells, but it is not known how single tip cells are selected to lead each vessel sprout, and how tip-cell numbers are(More)
Blood vessels form extensive networks that nurture all tissues in the body. Abnormal vessel growth and function are hallmarks of cancer and ischemic and inflammatory diseases, and they contribute to disease progression. Therapeutic approaches to block vascular supply have reached the clinic, but limited efficacy and resistance pose unresolved challenges.(More)
It takes two to make blood vessels—endothelial cells and pericytes. While the endothelial cells are the better characterized of the two, pericytes are now coming into focus as important regulators of angiogenesis and blood vessel function, and as potential drug targets. However, pericytes are still surrounded by much controversy. They are difficult to(More)
Branching morphogenesis in the mammalian lung and Drosophila trachea relies on the precise localization of secreted modulators of epithelial growth to select branch sites and direct branch elongation, but the intercellular signals that control blood vessel branching have not been previously identified. We found that VEGF(120/120) mouse embryos, engineered(More)
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is confined to the endothelium of brain capillaries and is indispensable for fluid homeostasis and neuronal function. In this study, we show that endothelial Wnt/beta-catenin (beta-cat) signaling regulates induction and maintenance of BBB characteristics during embryonic and postnatal development. Endothelial specific(More)
Sprouting angiogenesis requires the coordinated behaviour of endothelial cells, regulated by Notch and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) signalling. Here, we use computational modelling and genetic mosaic sprouting assays in vitro and in vivo to investigate the regulation and dynamics of endothelial cells during tip cell selection. We find(More)
The past two decades of angiogenesis research have identified a wealth of pro- and antiangiogenic signals originating from the tissue environment, which control blood vessel density and function. Understanding when and how blood vessels respond to the combination of signals they encounter to achieve a balanced cellular response is a major challenge for the(More)
The association of pericytes (PCs) to newly formed blood vessels has been suggested to regulate endothelial cell (EC) proliferation, survival, migration, differentiation, and vascular branching. Here, we addressed these issues using PDGF-B-- and PDGF receptor-beta (PDGFR-beta)--deficient mice as in vivo models of brain angiogenesis in the absence of PCs.(More)
The angiogenic sprout has been compared to the growing axon, and indeed, many proteins direct pathfinding by both structures. The Roundabout (Robo) proteins are guidance receptors with well-established functions in the nervous system; however, their role in the mammalian vasculature remains ill defined. Here we show that an endothelial-specific Robo, Robo4,(More)