Reversible Modification of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability to Proteins

  • Stanley I. Rapoport
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 23)


Entry of proteins into the central nervous system (CNS) is severely restricted by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is interposed between brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) on the one hand, and blood on the other. The BBB has been demonstrated at three separate sites: the cerebrovascular endothelium, the epithelium of the choroid plexus, and the arachnoid membrane that separates the subdural from the subarachnoid space (reviewed by Rapoport, 1976). Each of these sites restricts protein and ion exchange because it contains a continuous layer of cells connected by tight junctions, or close intercellular adhesions. These make the cell layer have the approximate permeability properties of an extended cell membrane and limit passive protein and ion diffusion into the brain (Fig. 1). In addition, cerebrovascular endothelial cells have very little vesicular transport activity as compared to peripheral vascular endothelia, further limiting transport of protein across cerebral blood vessels (Reese and Karnovsky, 1967; Crone, 1965).


Tight Junction Vesicular Transport Hypertonic Solution Arachnoid Membrane Lingual Artery 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley I. Rapoport
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of NeurophysiologyNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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