The blood-brain barrier system

  • Rolf Zetterström


The clinical observation that kernicterus only occurs in newborn infants provides some evidence that the blood-brain barrier system is less efficient in the neonatal period than in later life. In heavily jaundiced newborns bilirubin may pass from the blood to the nuclear grey matter of the brain and into the cerebrospinal fluid. On the other hand, this pigment cannot be recovered from the brain of icteric adults. The phenomenon of kernicterus, however, provides one of the very few grounds for the view that the blood-brain barrier system is underdeveloped at birth and that there is a postnatal maturation. The limitation of our knowledge within this field is due to many factors. One of the great difficulties which arises when studying these problems is how to define the blood-brain barrier.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag oHG. Berlin · Göttingen · Heidelberg 1959

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Zetterström
    • 1
  1. 1.Pediatriska KlinikenUniversitet GöteborgDeutschland

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