Intussusceptive angiogenesis: its role in embryonic vascular network formation

Djonov, Valentin; Schmid, M.; Tschanz, Stefan A.; Burri, Peter Hermann (2000). Intussusceptive angiogenesis: its role in embryonic vascular network formation. Circulation research, 86(3), pp. 286-292. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1161/01.RES.86.3.286

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Intussusceptive angiogenesis is a novel mode of blood vessel formation and remodeling, which occurs by internal division of the preexisting capillary plexus without sprouting. In this study, the process is demonstrated in developing chicken eye vasculature and in the chorioallantoic membrane by methylmethacrylate (Mercox) casting, transmission electron microscopy, and in vivo observation. In a first step of intussusceptive angiogenesis, the capillary plexus expands by insertion of numerous transcapillary tissue pillars, ie, by intussusceptive microvascular growth. In a subsequent step, a vascular tree arises from the primitive capillary plexus as a result of intussusceptive pillar formation and pillar fusions, a process we termed "intussusceptive arborization." On the basis of the morphological observations, a 4-step model for intussusceptive arborization is proposed, as follows: phase I, numerous circular pillars are formed in rows, thus demarcating future vessels; phase II, formation of narrow tissue septa by pillar reshaping and pillar fusions; phase III, delineation, segregation, growth, and extraction of the new vascular entity by merging of septa; and phase IV, formation of new branching generations by successively repeating the process, complemented by growth and maturation of all components. In contrast to sprouting, intussusceptive angiogenesis does not require intense local endothelial cell proliferation; it is implemented primarily by rearrangement and attenuation of the endothelial cell plates. In summary, transcapillary pillar formation, ie, intussusception, is a central and probably widespread process, which plays a role not only in capillary network growth and expansion (intussusceptive microvascular growth), but also in vascular plexus remodeling and tree formation (intussusceptive arborization).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Djonov, Valentin Georgiev, Tschanz, Stefan A., Burri, Peter Hermann


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




Stefan Andreas Tschanz

Date Deposited:

18 Mar 2014 09:19

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:27

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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