Radial glial interaction with cerebral germinal matrix capillaries in the fetal baboon

Exp Neurol. 1992 Nov;118(2):126-32. doi: 10.1016/0014-4886(92)90029-p.


The occurrence of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a frequent problem in premature infants delivered between 24 (60%) and 32 weeks (80%) of gestation, a time during which the germinal matrix (GM) is prominent over the head of the caudate nucleus. Most IVH arises from the GM and it has been proposed that an important factor in the pathogenesis of IVH is a weakness of GM capillary walls due to deficient support by surrounding immature glial cells. The purpose of this study was to examine the glial-capillary interaction in the GM of fetal baboons sacrificed at 100 days (54%) gestation, a stage of GM development comparable to that during which human neonatal IVH occurs. Brains from a later gestational stage (162 days, 88%), after GM involution, were also examined. At 100 days of gestational age, the GM was prominent over the head of the caudate and contained vimentin positive, but not glial fibrillary acidic protein positive, radial glial cells which formed endfeet on capillaries in the region. Ultrastructurally, all the GM capillaries examined from this gestational time had complete, continuous endothelia marked by few pinocytotic vesicles and prominent tight junctions. The endothelial cells rested upon uninterrupted basement membranes which were contacted by clearly identifiable glial endfeet. These data show that GM capillaries have morphologies typical of CNS capillaries and suggest that the capillary immaturity within the GM is not a major contributing factor to IVH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Capillaries / embryology
  • Capillaries / ultrastructure
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Papio / embryology
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Vimentin