Bondke Persson, Anja Institut für Vegetative Physiologie, Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
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Blood vessels assume a critical function in organisms too large in size to sufficiently supply their tissues with oxygen and nutrients and to remove toxic waste products by diffusion alone. Therefore, during the embryonic development of a vertebrate, the vascular system (that is, the entirety of all blood vessels) develops first and is a prerequisite for all other organ systems. Genetically engineered mice that are unable to form a functional vascular system die at embryonic (developmental) day E10 without formation of functional organs.
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