A special protein in brain called FoxF2 are essential for the development of the blood-brain barrier, according to a new study. The findings appeared in the journal Developmental Cell.
In a study done on mice, the team found how the blood-brain barrier develops and what makes the capillaries in the brain different from small blood vessels in other organs.
"Mice that have too little or too much FoxF2 develop various types of defects in the brain's blood vessels," said Peter Carlsson, professor at the University of Gothenburg's department of chemistry and molecular biology.
This blood-brain barrier is vital, because it enables strict control over the substances with which the brain's nerve cells come into contact. "It has a protective function that, if it fails, increases the risk of stroke and other complications," the authors noted.
"The research is now underway in collaboration with clinical geneticists to investigate the extent to which variations in the FoxF2 gene affect people's risk of suffering a stroke," Carlsson said.