Small-vessel diseases of the brain underlie 20 to 30 percent of ischemic strokes and a larger proportion of intracerebral hemorrhages. In this report, we show that a mutation in the mouse Col4a1 gene, encoding procollagen type IV alpha1, predisposes both newborn and adult mice to intracerebral hemorrhage. Surgical delivery of mutant mice alleviated birth-associated trauma and hemorrhage. We identified a COL4A1 mutation in a human family with small-vessel disease. We concluded that mutation of COL4A1 may cause a spectrum of cerebrovascular phenotypes and that persons with COL4A1 mutations may be predisposed to hemorrhage, especially after environmental stress.
Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.