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Control of cerebrovascular patterning by neural activity during postnatal development
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    The brain represents only a small portion of the body mass and yet consumes almost a quarter of the available energy, and has a limited ability to store energy. The brain is therefore highly dependent on oxygen and nutrient supply from the blood circulation, which makes it vulnerable to vascular pathologies. Key vascular determinants will ensure proper brain maturation and function: the establishment of vascular networks, the formation of the blood-brain barrier, and the regulation of blood flow. Recent evidence suggests that the phenomenon of neurovascular coupling, during which increased neural activity normally leads to increased blood flow, is not functional until few weeks after birth, implying that the developing brain must rely on alternative mechanisms to adequately couple blood supply to increasing energy demands. This review will focus on these alternative mechanisms, which have been partly elucidated recently via the demonstration that neural activity influences the maturation of cerebrovascular networks. We also propose possible mechanisms underlying activity-induced vascular plasticity.

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    DP1 NS092473/NS/NINDS NIH HHS/United States
    R01 NS064583/NS/NINDS NIH HHS/United States
    DP1 NS092473/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
    R01NS064583/NS/NINDS NIH HHS/United States
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