CNS Vascular Morphogenesis

In the central nervous system (CNS), blood and lymphatic vasculature develops in very distinct and unique patterns to support diverse CNS function. The CNS parenchyma is highly vascularized, but devoid of lymphatic vasculature. In contrast, both blood and lymphatic vessels are well formed in the meninges, the protective membranes that enclose the brain and spinal cord. Meningeal blood and lymphatic vasculature mediates efficient clearance of CNS metabolic wastes and fluid, as well as neural immune surveillance, thereby maintaining CNS homeostasis and health. We are trying to understand the developmental programs that lead to specific patterning of CNS blood and lymphatic vasculature, specifically focusing on the meninges. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying meningeal angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis will help to maintain brain health, immunity, and homeostasis.

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