The vascular and nervous systems share a common necessity of circuit formation to coordinate nutrient and information transfer, respectively. Shared developmental principles have evolved to orchestrate the formation of both the vascular and the nervous systems. This evolution is highlighted by the identification of specific guidance cues that direct both systems to their target tissues. In addition to sharing cellular and molecular signaling events during development, the vascular and nervous systems also form an intricate interface within the central nervous system called the neurovascular unit. Understanding how the neurovascular unit develops and functions, and more specifically how the blood-brain barrier within this unit is established, is of utmost importance. We explore the history, recent discoveries, and unanswered questions surrounding the relationship between the vascular and nervous systems with a focus on developmental signaling cues that guide network formation and establish the interface between these two systems.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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