Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 117, Issue 5, pp 481-496

First online:

Angiogenesis after cerebral ischemia

  • Heike BeckAffiliated withInstitute of Cardiovascular Physiology, Walter Brendel Center of Experimental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich Email author 
  • , Karl H. PlateAffiliated withInstitute of Neurology (Edinger Institute), Neuroscience Center, Frankfurt University Medical School

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Though the vascular system of the adult brain is extremely stable under normal baseline conditions, endothelial cells start to proliferate in response to brain ischemia. The induction of angiogenesis, primarily in the ischemic boundary zone, enhances oxygen and nutrient supply to the affected tissue. Additionally, the generation of new blood vessels facilitates highly coupled neurorestorative processes including neurogenesis and synaptogenesis which in turn lead to improved functional recovery. To take advantage of angiogenesis as a therapeutic concept for stroke treatment, the knowledge of the precise molecular mechanisms is mandatory. Especially, since a couple of growth factors involved in post-ischemic angiogenesis may have detrimental adverse effects in the brain by increasing vascular permeability. This article summarizes the knowledge of molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis following cerebral ischemia. Finally, experimental pharmacological and cellular approaches to stimulate and enhance post-ischemic angiogenesis are discussed.


Stroke Angiogenesis Neurorestorative treatment