Ultrastructural localization of adhesion molecules in the healthy and inflamed choroid plexus of the mouse

Cell Tissue Res. 1999 May;296(2):259-69. doi: 10.1007/s004410051287.


The functional expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and MAdCAM-1 in the choroid plexus is indicative of a role of this structure in the communication of the immune system with the central nervous system (CNS). In order to gain further insight into the possible functions of adhesion molecules expressed in the choroid plexus, we investigated the exact ultrastructural localization of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and MAdCAM-1 on semithin and ultrathin cryosections of the choroid plexus of healthy mice and of mice suffering from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In the healthy choroid plexus VCAM-1 and ICAM-1, but not MAdCAM-1, could be detected on the apical surface of the choroid plexus epithelial cells. During EAE, immunoreactivity for VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 was dramatically increased. Additionally, apical expression of MAdCAM-1 was observed on individual choroid plexus epithelial cells during EAE. At the same time, VCAM-1, ICAM-1 or MAdCAM-1 were never present on the endothelial cells of the fenestrated capillaries within the choroid plexus. The polar expression of VCAM-1, ICAM-1 and MAdCAM-1 on the apical surface of choroid plexus epithelial cells, which form the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, implies a previously unappreciated function of this barrier in the immunosurveillance of the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / immunology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • Choroid Plexus / immunology*
  • Choroid Plexus / pathology
  • Choroid Plexus / ultrastructure*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fibronectins
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Inflammation
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Mucoproteins / analysis
  • Reference Values
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Fibronectins
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Madcam1 protein, mouse
  • Mucoproteins
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1