Defective associations between blood vessels and brain parenchyma lead to cerebral hemorrhage in mice lacking αv integrins


  • J.H. McCarty
  • R.A. Monahan-Earley
  • L.F. Brown
  • M. Keller
  • H. Gerhardt
  • K. Rubin
  • M. Shani
  • H.F. Dvorak
  • H. Wolburg
  • B.L. Bader
  • A.M. Dvorak
  • R.O. Hynes


  • Molecular and Cellular Biology


  • Mol Cell Biol 22 (21): 7667-7677


  • Mouse embryos genetically null for the αv integrin subunit develop intracerebral hemorrhages at midgestation and die shortly after birth. A key question is whether the hemorrhage arises from primary defects in vascular endothelial cells or pericytes or from other causes. We have previously reported normal initiation of cerebral vessels comprising branched tubes of endothelial cells. Here we show that the onset of hemorrhage is not due to defects in pericyte recruitment. Additionally, most αv-null vessels display ultrastructurally normal endothelium-pericyte associations and normal interendothelial cell junctions. Thus, endothelial cells and pericytes appear to establish their normal relationships in cerebral microvessels. However, by both light and electron microscopy, we detected defective associations between cerebral microvessels and the surrounding brain parenchyma, composed of neuroepithelial cells, glia, and neuronal precursors. These data suggest a novel role for αv integrins in the association between cerebral microvessels and central nervous system parenchymal cells.