Permeability-related structures in developing and mature microvessels of the chicken optic tectum

M. Bertossi, L. Mancini, A. Favia, B. Nico, D. Ribatti, D. Virgintino, L. Roncali

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The mode and the temporal sequence of the modifications undergone by permeability-related structures in the neural microvessels have been ultrastructurally and morphometrically investigated in optic tecta of 6, 14, and 18 incubation day (i.d.) chicken embryos and of 30 day chickens. Horseradish peroxidase was utilized as a permeability marker. The endo- and exocytosis-related structures (vesicles and vacuoles) and the interendothelial junctions remarkably change during development: the density of the vacuoles is decreased at the 14th i.d., while that of the vesicles becomes significantly low at the 18th i.d., both reaching lowest values in the chicken; the passage of the marker through the endothelial junctions begins to be hindered from the 14th i.d., parallel to the perivascular arrangement of astrocytic glia endfeet, and it is completely blocked at hatching time. The findings suggest that the optic tectum microvessels are permeable, and thus immature, in the early development and progressively acquire morphofunctional features of vessels provided with barrier devices during the pre- and post-natal development of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Structures and Morphogenesis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Chicken embryo optic tectum
  • Endothelial permeability
  • Horseradish peroxidase
  • Neural microvessels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Anatomy


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