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Science 334 (6063): 1652-1653

Copyright © 2011 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Blood-Brain Barrier Differentiation

Britta Engelhardt

Theodor Kocher Institute, University of Bern, CH 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

Figure 1
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Forging the barrier. (Left) Specialized endothelial cells of CNS microvessels form the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Pericytes are embedded in the endothelial basement membrane. Astrocytes produce the parenchymal basement membrane and cover the abluminal aspect of the microvessels. Rare antigen-presenting cells of the immune system are in the perivascular space at post-capillary venules. (Right) Shh is released by astrocytes and binds to Ptc1 on endothelial cells. This activates a signaling pathway that controls BBB integrity and immune system access to the brain.



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