We will now discuss the recent findings showing also a direct link between angio-genesis and neurogenesis. ECs have other functions than constituting pipe lines for the supply of oxygen. Instead, they are now known to release inductive cues for organogenesis and morphogenesis of various organs during development [38-41], as well as for neurogenesis and neural cell fate. ECs are present at similar sites as NSCs and astroglial cells, and interact with these cell types in a temporo-spatial manner [42, 43]. In specific areas of the central nervous system in mammals, NSCs proliferate in small clusters around dividing capillaries - termed the vascular niche . Furthermore, ECs release factors such as BMP-2, BDNF and FGF, which induce the differentiation of astrocyte precursors or NSCs . When SVZ explants are co-cultured with ECs, maturation, neurite outgrowth and migration of neurons were enhanced , indicating a role for ECs in neurogenesis. Additional evidence for a cross-talk between neural and vascular cells is supported by the fact that VEGF and Sema-3A antagonistically affect neural progenitor cells  and ECs . Finally, the link between the development of nerves and blood vessels is strengthened by the observation that conditions that increase neural activity and stimulate neurogenesis also trigger angiogenesis [49, 50].
Was this article helpful?