Endothelial cells provide a variety of highly specialized functions in different organs, e.g. as barrier, as sensor, or in nutrition supply, and cardiac endothelial cells play an important role in cardiovascular biology and disease. In this study we performed RNAseq of endothelial cells isolated from heart, lung, brain, kidney and skeletal muscle of GFP reporter mice by fluorescence-assisted cell sorting to investigate the cell type-specific transcriptome of cardiac endothelial cells in comparison to endothelial cells from other organs.
Gene expression in endothelial cells shows marked cell type- and organ-specificity. We identified a set of transcription factors as regulators of endothelial cell gene expression. The insights from this study could serve as a basis for future analysis of cell type-specific signaling and transcriptional control in cardiovascular physiology and disease.