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Anat Rec. 1989 Jul;224(3):355-64.

Studies on the vasculogenesis in rat cerebral cortex.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan.


The cerebral cortices are nourished by blood circulating through a capillary network branching from parent arteries. In this paper, vasculogenesis of the cerebral cortices in developing rats (11-18 days after birth) was studied by light and electron microscopy after intravenous administration of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). In the first phase of vasculogenesis, tentacles grew out from the distal end of the vascular cord (tip cells), and in the second phase, they extended to the afferent blood vessel. The reaction product of HRP was distributed not only in the primitive vascular lumen, but also in the peripheral extravascular space of the vascular cord. Most tentacles were free from reaction product, but, in some cases where reaction product was detected, the intercellular spaces had spread into the tip cells and reached the root of the tentacles. After the tentacles contacted the afferent vascular cord, the two vascular cords approached and fused with each other. Blood serum was able to circulate between the two vascular cords via the irregular interstices formed among the endothelial cells, cytoplasmic processes, and tentacles. Later, the primitive vascular lumen developed to a sufficient size to allow for the circulation of blood cells. The sequential events in the process of fusion between two vascular cords are illustrated. The following two points were also noticed in this study: 1) during cerebral vasculogenesis, degeneration and vacuolization in primitive endothelial cells occurred only in some of the serial sections and did not play a significant role in the formation of vascular lumen, and 2) cerebral pericytal macrophages (CPM) (classified as fluorescent granular perithelial cells by the authors) appeared close to the vascular cord, although the biological meaning of it remained unknown in the present investigation.

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