Publication in Tissue Barriers on blood-brain barrier
The microvasculature of the brain forms a protective blood-brain barrier (BBB) that ensures a homeostatic environment for the central nervous system (CNS). The barrier properties of the brain endothelial cells are maintained by cells surrounding the capillaries, such as astrocytes and pericytes. Together with the endothelium and a basement membrane, these supporting cells form the neurovascular unit (NVU). Accumulating evidence indicates that the supporting cells of the NVU release a wide variety of soluble factors that induce and control barrier properties in a concentration-dependent manner. The review provides a comprehensive overview of how such factors, called morphogens, influence BBB integrity and functioning.
Authors: Nienke Wevers and Helga de Vries