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The role of mural cells in hemorrhage of brain arteriovenous malformation


Brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) is the most common cause of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), particularly in young patients. However, the exact cause of bAVM bleeding and rupture is not yet fully understood. In bAVMs, blood bypasses the entire capillary bed and directly flows from arteries to veins. The vessel walls in bAVMs have structural defects, which impair vascular integrity. Mural cells are essential structural and functional components of blood vessels and play a critical role in maintaining vascular integrity. Changes in mural cell number and coverage have been implicated in bAVMs. In this review, we discussed the roles of mural cells in bAVM pathogenesis. We focused on 1) the recent advances in human and animal studies of bAVMs; 2) the importance of mural cells in vascular integrity; 3) the regulatory signaling pathways that regulate mural cell function. More specifically, the platelet-derived growth factor-B (PDGF-B)/PDGF receptor-β (PDGFR-β), EphrinB2/EphB4, and angiopoietins/tie2 signaling pathways that regulate mural cell-recruitment during vascular remodeling were discussed in detail.

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