Common mechanisms of nerve and blood vessel wiring

Nature. 2005 Jul 14;436(7048):193-200. doi: 10.1038/nature03875.


Blood vessels and nerve fibres course throughout the body in an orderly pattern, often alongside one another. Although superficially distinct, the mechanisms involved in wiring neural and vascular networks seem to share some deep similarities. The discovery of key axon guidance molecules over the past decade has shown that axons are guided to their targets by finely tuned codes of attractive and repulsive cues, and recent studies reveal that these cues also help blood vessels to navigate to their targets. Parallels have also emerged between the actions of growth factors that direct angiogenic sprouting and those that regulate axon terminal arborization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / drug effects
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Blood Vessels / anatomy & histology*
  • Blood Vessels / drug effects
  • Blood Vessels / growth & development*
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Nervous System / drug effects
  • Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Nervous System / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Cell Surface