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Previous studies have reported that in embryonic brain, the sprouting pial capillaries penetrate the cerebral cortex and differentiate into the intracerebral vascular components. Such vascular components are commonly expressing not only  CD31  but also nestin, the latter is known as a neural stem cell marker. We examined whether  CD31 -positive cells derived from the embryonic cerebral cortex have a potential to differentiate into neural lineage.  The localization of  CD31 -positive cells in the embryonic (E17) mouse brain was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. The vessel-associated nestin-positive cells co-expressed  CD31 . Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed that  CD31  was localized not only to the endothelial cell membranes but also to the membrane of pericyte-like cells at adhering site to the endothelial cells. The  CD31 -positive cells sorted by  MACS  could produce neurosphere-like clusters, which differentiated into neural lineage.  These results indicate that  CD31 -positive cerebral endothelial cells and pericytes at fetal and neonatal stage have a potential to differentiate into neural cells. It is well known that the interaction of neurogenesis and angiogenesis is coordinated in postnatal brain. The present study suggests the new mechanism for regulating neurovasculogenesis of post-injured brain.

Hosts: Prof Zoltan Molnar (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford)

Organisers: Prof Zoltan Molnar (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford)

Contact email: zoltan.molnar@dpag.ox.ac.uk