The tight-junction-specific protein ZO-1 is a component of the human and rat blood-brain barriers

Neurosci Lett. 1991 Aug 5;129(1):6-10. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(91)90708-2.


Continuous tight junctions between vascular endothelial cells, the principal anatomical basis for the blood-brain barrier, have been investigated functionally and morphologically but their molecular components have not been defined. This communication reports that the protein ZO-1, a specific constituent of epithelial tight junctions, is found in human and rat brain vasculature. ZO-1-positive immunocytochemical staining forms a tightly banded pattern outlining individual endothelial cells in blood vessels of the human cerebral cortex. Rat brain exhibits a similar staining of blood vessels as well as ZO-1-positive staining around individual epithelial cells of the choroid plexus. The antiserum used for immunocytochemistry recognizes a protein of about 200 kDa in rat brain microvessels by Western blot. These findings indicate that ZO-1 is located at the interendothelial junctions of brain vasculature, implicating its importance as a component of the blood-brain barrier.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / chemistry
  • Blood-Brain Barrier*
  • Cerebral Cortex / blood supply
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intercellular Junctions / chemistry*
  • Membrane Proteins / analysis*
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis*
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • Rats
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • TJP1 protein, human
  • Tjp1 protein, rat
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein