Endothelial cells adopt unique cell fates during sprouting angiogenesis, differentiating into tip or stalk cells. The fate selection process is directed by Delta-Notch lateral inhibition pathway. Classical Delta-Notch models produce a spatial pattern of tip cells separated by a single stalk cell, or the salt-and-pepper pattern. However, classical models cannot explain alternative tip-stalk patterning, such as tip cells that are separated by two or more stalk cells.
Scientific Reports 8, No. 9519, 2018, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27645-1