Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Ultracytochemical studies of the blood-meningeal barrier (BMB) in rat spinal cord

  • A. W. Vorbrodt
  • H. Lassmann
  • H. M. Wisniewski
  • A. S. Lossinsky
Original Works


Alkaline phosphatase(AP),5′-nucleotidase(5′N) and nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) activities were studied by cytochemical methods applied to light and electron microscopy in the microvasculature of spinal cord leptomeningeal strips of normal and protamine sulfate (PS) treated rats. The increased permeability to intravenously injected horseradish peroxidase was observed in some segments of microvessels of PS treated rats. Enhanced formation of plasmalemmal pits and deep invaginations, formation of numerous pinocytic vesicles and the appearance of channel-like structures in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells were the most striking ultrastructural evidence of increased permeability of the affected microvessels. All of these structures also showed activity of AP, and to lesser extent, of NDPase; 5′N activity was mainly associated with the delimiting membranes of pinocytic vesicles. Our data present evidence that a shift of enzymatic activity from luminal to abluminal surface of affected endothelial cells results from membrane flow accompanying increased transport activity via formation of pinocytic vesicles and channel-like structures.

Key words

Blood-meningeal barrier Membrane flow Horseradish peroxidase Protamine sulfate Specific and nonspecific phosphatases 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Vorbrodt
    • 1
  • H. Lassmann
    • 1
  • H. M. Wisniewski
    • 1
  • A. S. Lossinsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathological NeurobiologyNYS Institute for Basic Research in Mental RetardationStaten IslandUSA

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