Christer Betsholtz – Developmental Genetics

Microscope image of a developing embryo
Photo: Barbara Lavina-Siemsen

Our group studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, vascular permeability and other vascular functions (vessel tone, molecule transport, cell transmigration across the vessel wall), in embryonic development, adult homeostasis and disease.

A particular focus is placed on the microvascular pericyte. Pericytes are obligatory components of all blood capillaries, yet their functions in health and disease are still poorly understood. Our on-going research addresses pericyte functions in different situations in organs using in vivo and in vitro techniques.

Other areas of focus concern the mechanisms of angiogenic sprouting, and the specific role of G-protein coupled receptors in this process as well as in other microvascular functions. A large project relates to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a complex and specific feature of the neurovascular unit, and the role of pericytes in this structure.

Questions beyond vascular biology

Some of our questions go beyond vascular biology. In a broad sense we address the roles of platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and other growth factors and their intracellular signal transducers during embryonic and postnatal development, as well as in pathological processes in the adult organism, such as cancer and brain calcification and neurodegeneration.

Read more about our projects