Published online May 20, 2015. doi: 10.5493/wjem.v5.i2.40
Peer-review started: December 6, 2014
First decision: January 20, 2015
Revised: March 18, 2015
Accepted: April 10, 2015
Article in press: April 12, 2015
Published online: May 20, 2015
Core tip: Many studies have demonstrated that endothelial cells (ECs) have an important role in organogenesis. For instance, during embryogenesis, aortic ECs provide specific factors that maintain the expression of key genes for pancreas development. Other unknown factors are also important for pancreatic endocrine specification and formation of insulin-producing beta cells. In addition, by the end of the gestation and close to birth, pancreatic islets contain immature beta cells with the capacity to express factors that recruit ECs from the surrounding microenvironment and form a functional unit that will lasts for the whole life of the individual. In the present review, we will analyze the current endothelial-derived factors called angiocrine factors that are essential in organogenesis and we will focus the role of these factors in pancreas development and pancreatic beta cells.