Development of the blood-brain barrier

Trends Neurosci. 1990 May;13(5):174-8. doi: 10.1016/0166-2236(90)90043-a.


The microenvironment of the CNS is important for neuronal function, and the blood-brain barrier is involved in its maintenance. The barrier is present in a complex cellular system at the level of the tight junctions between endothelial cells. The unique properties of the endothelial cells in the CNS compared with those present in other organs are not predetermined by brain-specific endothelial precursors but are induced by the neural environment during the development of the vascular system. Astrocytes that tightly appose endfeet onto the abluminal side of brain capillaries seem to be important for the induction and maintenance of the endothelial barrier.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*