Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36380034
Link to DOI – 10.1007/s00429-022-02592-w
Brain Struct Funct 2023 Mar; 228(2): 475-492
Although great efforts to characterize the embryonic phase of brain microvascular system development have been made, its postnatal maturation has barely been described. Here, we compared the molecular and functional properties of brain vascular cells on postnatal day (P)5 vs. P15, via a transcriptomic analysis of purified mouse cortical microvessels (MVs) and the identification of vascular-cell-type-specific or -preferentially expressed transcripts. We found that endothelial cells (EC), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and fibroblasts (FB) follow specific molecular maturation programs over this time period. Focusing on VSMCs, we showed that the arteriolar VSMC network expands and becomes contractile resulting in a greater cerebral blood flow (CBF), with heterogenous developmental trajectories within cortical regions. Samples of the human brain cortex showed the same postnatal maturation process. Thus, the postnatal phase is a critical period during which arteriolar VSMC contractility required for vessel tone and brain perfusion is acquired and mature.