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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Mar;71(6):1055-66. doi: 10.1007/s00018-013-1488-9. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Crosstalk between cerebral endothelium and oligodendrocyte.

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Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, MGH East 149-2401, Charlestown, MA, 02129, USA.


It is now relatively well accepted that the cerebrovascular system does not merely provide inert pipes for blood delivery to the brain. Cerebral endothelial cells may compose an embedded bunker of trophic factors that contribute to brain homeostasis and function. Recent findings suggest that soluble factors from cerebral endothelial cells nourish neighboring cells, such as neurons and astrocytes. Although data are strongest in supporting mechanisms of endothelial-neuron and/or endothelial-astrocyte trophic coupling, it is likely that similar interactions also exist between cerebral endothelial cells and oligodendrocyte lineage cells. In this mini-review, we summarize current advances in the field of endothelial-oligodendrocyte trophic coupling. These endothelial-oligodendrocyte interactions may comprise the oligovascular niche to maintain their cellular functions and sustain ongoing angiogenesis/oligodendrogenesis. Importantly, it should be noted that the cell-cell interactions are not static-the trophic coupling is disturbed under acute phase after brain injury, but would be recovered in the chronic phase to promote brain remodeling and repair. Oligodendrocyte lineage cells play critical roles in white matter function, and under pathological conditions, oligodendrocyte dysfunction lead to white matter damage. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of endothelial-oligodendrocyte trophic coupling may lead to new therapeutic approaches for white matter-related diseases, such as stroke or vascular dementia.

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