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Journal of Neural Transplantation and Plasticity
Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 1-10

Astroglial Induction of in vivo Angiogenesis

1Departamento de Biología Celular y Genética, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid 28871, Spain
2Instituto Cajal, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
3Departamento de Biología Celular, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A purified population of astrocytes was prepared from embryonic rat hypothalamus. These cells were transplanted into the cerebral cortex of adult rats with survival time of 5 days and studied by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. A progressive gradation from the edges of the implant to the intact host tissue was observed in relation to the vascularization process. The regenerating tissue showed cells with cavities resembling capillary central lumens and their cytoplasms revealed gold. particles when they were immunostained for electron microscopy. Dark processes were seen in capillary-like lumens and, on other occasions, evaginations of endothelial cells were in contact with astroglial processes. These findings lead us to suggest, that capillary-like structures might develop from cavitated astroglial cells, which would permit the migration of endothelial cells into their lumens. Astroglial-endothelial interactions persist until endothelial cells are morphologically differentiated. One possible interpretation of the present data is that astrocytes might participate directly and actively in the regulation of capillary formation.