Neurovascular Communication during CNS Development

Dev Cell. 2018 Apr 9;45(1):10-32. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.01.023.


A precise communication between the nervous and the vascular systems is crucial for proper formation and function of the central nervous system (CNS). Interestingly, this communication does not only occur by neural cells regulating the growth and properties of the vasculature, but new studies show that blood vessels actively control different neurodevelopmental processes. Here, we review the current knowledge on how neurons in particular influence growing blood vessels during CNS development and on how vessels participate in shaping the neural compartment. We also review the identified molecular mechanisms of this bidirectional communication.

Keywords: CNS development; CNS vascularization; angiocrine cue; brain; neurodevelopment; neurovascular communication; neurovascular link; retina; spinal cord; vascular control of neuronal development and function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / blood supply
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*