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Cerebrovascular disorders: molecular insights and therapeutic opportunities

Nature Neuroscience volume 14, pages 13901397 (2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

Blood vessels in the nervous system have traditionally been considered neutral bystanders that only passively adapt their structure and function in response to the needs of neural cells. Emerging evidence suggests, however, that vessels and angiogenic molecules actively participate in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. Here we will discuss molecular insights into neurological disorders resulting either from excessive vessel growth (cerebral vascular malformations) or improper vessel regression (neurodegeneration and white matter lesions). These genetic insights offer alternative therapeutic options, some of which are being evaluated in the clinic.

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Acknowledgements

We thank L. Notebaert, A. Truyens and B. Sass for help with the figures. E.S. is a fellow of FWO-Flanders, funded by the state North Rhine Westphalia and supported by a grant from the Frick Foundation for ALS Research. A.Q. is a fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research (FWO), Flanders. M.V. is supported by grants from the Interuniversity Attraction Poles initiated by the Belgian Science Policy, Network 5/25, the F.R.S.-FNRS (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique), and the ARC (Actions de Recherche Concertées-Communauté française de Belgique). P.C. is supported by Long-term structural Methusalem funding by the Flemish Government, the Fund for Scientific Research–Flemish Government (FWO) (G.0677.09, G.0676.09), the Belgian Science Policy (IUAP-P6/30), the Association Française contre les Myopathies (AFM), Geneeskundige stichting Koningin Elisabeth and Motor Neurone Disease Association grant 70/130.

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Affiliations

  1. Molecular Neurogenetics Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Muenster, Germany.

    • Erik Storkebaum
  2. The Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, Katholieke Universiteit (K.U.) Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

    • Annelies Quaegebeur
    •  & Peter Carmeliet
  3. The Laboratory of Angiogenesis and Neurovascular Link, Vesalius Research Center, VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology), K.U. Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

    • Annelies Quaegebeur
    •  & Peter Carmeliet
  4. WELBIO (Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology), de Duve Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

    • Miikka Vikkula
  5. Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics, de Duve Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium.

    • Miikka Vikkula

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Peter Carmeliet.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2947

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