Brain vessels display a distinct phenotype that includes tight junctions and barrier properties of brain endothelial cells, as well as their close association with glial cells and neurons that enable tight coupling of blood flow with brain tissue energy demand. Brain vessels undergo profound molecular, physiological, and anatomical changes and reorganization in response to injury or disease. These changes can be analyzed using integrated system biology approaches. Screening and analyses of protein expression and modifications and their association with pathophysiological vascular responses are an important research approach to identify translational vascular targets and biomarkers useful for modifying or monitoring cerebrovascular disease. This is accomplished by deploying highly sensitive mass spectrometry–based techniques, ranging from whole-proteome screening to targeted quantitative proteomics. This chapter will summarize recent advances in applying these methods to build a neurovascular unit (NVU) “Carta,” an integrated collection of dynamic proteomes of cellular and subcellular compartments of the NVU and brain vessels isolated by various techniques from animal and human brains.
Primer on Cerebrovascular Diseases (17 February 2017): 346–350.