Neural regulation of CNS angiogenesis during development

Shang Ma, Zhen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Vertebrates have evolved a powerful vascular system that involves close interactions between blood vessels and target tissues. Vascular biology had been mostly focused on the study of blood vessels for decades, which has generated large bodies of knowledge on vascular cell development, function and pathology. We argue that the prime time has arrived for vascular research on vessel-tissue interactions, especially target tissue regulation of vessel development. The central nervous system (CNS) requires a highly efficient vascular system for oxygen and nutrient transport as well as waste disposal. Therefore, neurovascular interaction is an excellent entry point to understanding target tissue regulation of blood vessel development. In this review, we summarize signaling pathways that transmit information from neural cells to blood vessels during development and the mechanisms by which they regulate each step of CNS angiogenesis. We also review important mechanisms of neural regulation of blood-brain barrier establishment and maturation, highlighting different functions of neural progenitor cells and pericytes. Finally, we evaluate potential contribution of malfunctioning neurovascular signaling to the development of brain vascular diseases and discuss how neurovascular interactions could be involved in brain tumor angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Genetics


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