n99330SE Academic Article uri icon


  • Here, we describe assay systems that utilize serum-free defined media to evaluate capillary morphogenesis during human endothelial cell (EC) invasion of three-dimensional collagen matrices. ECs invade these matrices over a 1-3-d period to form capillary tubes. Blocking antibodies to the 21 integrin interfere with invasion and morphogenesis while other integrin blocking antibodies do not. Interestingly, we observed increased invasion of ECs toward a population of underlying ECs undergoing morphogenesis. In addition, we have developed assays on microscope slides that display the invasion process horizontally, thereby enhancing our ability to image these events. Thus far, we have observed intracellular vacuoles that appear to regulate the formation of capillary lumens, and extensive cell processes that facilitate the interconnection of ECs during morphogenic events. These assays should enable further investigation of the morphologic steps and molecular events controlling human capillary, tube formation in three-dimensional extracellular matrices.

published proceedings

  • In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal

author list (cited authors)

  • Davis, G. E., Black, S. M., & Bayless, K. J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2000 11:11 AM