Chemokine-dependent mechanisms of leukocyte trafficking across a model of the blood-brain barrier

Methods. 2003 Apr;29(4):351-61. doi: 10.1016/s1046-2023(02)00359-6.


Leukocyte transmigration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a multistep process that can be mediated by chemokines. These low-molecular-weight chemoattractant proteins are secreted by cells within the central nervous system (CNS) in response to injury or on activation. Leukocytes transmigrate toward this chemokine gradient, crossing the BBB and gaining access to the CNS parenchyma. Depending on the chemokine, the nature of the insult, and the type of cell that transmigrates, the BBB integrity may be disrupted, leading to its increased permeability. Both the inflammation resulting from leukocyte transmigration and BBB perturbations contribute to CNS pathology. The mechanisms that mediate leukocyte transmigration and BBB disruption, as well as tissue culture models that are used to study leukocyte trafficking, are the focus of this review.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Biochemistry / methods*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Chemokine CCL5 / metabolism
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Models, Biological


  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokines