Junctional complexes of the blood-brain barrier: permeability changes in neuroinflammation

Prog Neurobiol. 2002 Dec;68(5):311-23. doi: 10.1016/s0301-0082(02)00128-4.


A wide range of central nervous system (CNS) disorders include neuroinflammatory events that perturb blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity. Mechanisms by which the BBB responds to physiological and pathological stimuli involve signaling systems in the tight and adherens junctions of the cerebral endothelium. In this review, we examine the molecular composition and regulatory mediators that control BBB permeability and assess how these mediators may be dysregulated in stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and meningioencephalitis. An understanding of these molecular substrates in BBB regulation may lead to new approaches for enhancing CNS drug delivery and ameliorating brain edema after injury and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adherens Junctions / immunology
  • Adherens Junctions / metabolism*
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / immunology*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / immunology
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neurogenic Inflammation / immunology
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / immunology*
  • Tight Junctions / immunology
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Membrane Proteins