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Cell Adh Migr. 2009 Apr-Jun;3(2):199-204. Epub 2009 Apr 13.

Neurovascular development: The beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.


Neurovascular development in the central nervous system has a rich history and compelling significance. The developing central nervous system (CNS) does not produce vascular progenitor cells, and so ingression of blood vessels is required for continued CNS development and function. Classic studies provide elegant descriptions of formation of the vascular plexus that surrounds the embryonic brain and spinal cord, and the subsequent ingression of blood vessels into the neural tissue. Recent work has focused on the molecular pathways responsible for neurovascular cross-talk and development of the blood-brain barrier. Here we review neurovascular development in the central nervous system, with emphasis on the spinal cord. We discuss the historical work, the current status of our knowledge and unanswered questions. The importance of neurovascular development to diseases of the cerebral vasculature and the neural stem cell niche are discussed.

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