The formation of embryonic blood vessels, defined as vasculogenesis, is a complex morphogenetic process ultimately related to tubulogenesis, carried out from in situ differentiation of mesoderm-recruited or proliferated progenitor endothelial cells (angioblasts) to endothelial cells for structuring a primary vascular plexus. Subsequent events involving apoptosis versus cell survival (remodeling) in the vessel network stabilizes the primordial microvasculature, which through the angiogenesis process yields new capillaries by sprouting from the preexisting ones. Methylxanthinic alkaloids such as caffeine (compounds present in a number of beverages consumed worldwide) exert some well-known effects upon heart and other cardiovascular structures, in part, by negatively interplaying with phosphodiesterase (PDEs) enzymes. Once caffeine as well as Ilex paraguariensis (yerba mate) infusion extract have shown to enhance the vessel formation (vasculogenesis and angiogenesis), we discuss the impact afforded by I. paraguariensis constituents on the (PDEs-related) quantities and stability of Protein kinase A (PKA) and Protein kinase C (PKC) enzymes. Besides, the text reflects on a suggested dual roles displayed by PKA and PKC enzymatic pathways in the developmental angiogenic events.
Part of the book: New Discoveries in Embryology