NEURODEVELOPMENT

Coordinating neurons with blood vessels

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Science  29 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6238, pp. 986
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6238.986-a

Neurons and blood vessels in the retina

PHOTO: THOMAS DEERINCK/NCMIR/SCIENCE SOURCE

The retina develops as interleaved layers of neurons and blood vessels. Usui et al. show that in mice, the development of blood vessel layers depends on signals from amacrine cells, a type of interneuron in the retina. Too much or too little signal resulted in too many or too few blood vessels, particularly affecting the intermediate vascular plexus (a network of blood vessels) embedded within the retina. This cellular crosstalk coordinates neuronal demand for oxygen with the blood's ability to supply it. With the intermediate vascular plexus poorly formed, photoreceptors (a type of neuron) degenerate, leading to deficits in vision.

J. Clin. Invest. 10.1172/JCI80297 (2015).

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