Endothelium Barrier Function Helps Mitigate Metastasis

Cancer Biology: Learnings from Transcriptomics Analysis

Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells, or HUVECs as they are more commonly known, are widely utilized as an in vitro model system for studying physiological and pathological processes of the vascular system. Endothelial cells line the inside of blood vessels and have a central role in angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. Endothelial cells, connected by tight junctions also form a defensive barrier between blood vessels and tissue, regulating the movement of nutrients and cells.

In fact, endothelial cells are of great interest in cancer biology because they are a prime target for cancer cells. During pathogenesis, cancer cells bind to endothelial cells and release soluble factors into the microenvironment that activate endothelial cells to form new blood vessels to the tumor, increasing its access to nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to support its growth. Additionally, the breakdown of tight junctions between the endothelial cells is implicated in cancer cell extravasation and tumor metastasis to distal parts of the body through the blood vessels. Utilizing sophisticated “-omics” approaches, scientists are studying changes in HUVECs by co-culturing them with cancer cells in vitro to gain essential insights into the complex interplay between the cell types in hopes of developing more effective cancer therapeutics.

The Lifeline® catalog has a variety of high-quality endothelial and cardiac cells from a variety of tissue sources, which include the following: