Immune surveillance of the normal human CNS takes place in dependence of the locoregional blood-brain barrier configuration and is mainly performed by CD3(+)/CD8(+) lymphocytes

Neuropathology. 2011 Jun;31(3):230-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2010.01167.x. Epub 2010 Nov 24.


Despite the blood-brain barrier (BBB) the human CNS is continuously screened by blood-derived immunological cells. In certain brain areas the local BBB configuration grants passage of large molecules, whereas others are better shielded. We investigated whether these regional BBB compositions are paralleled by differences in the degree of cellular immunosurveillance by investigating tissue from 23 normal human brains for several CD markers, FoxP3, granzyme B, and perforin. Our results provide evidence that immunosurveillance is associated with locoregional BBB configuration and is mainly performed by CD3(+)/CD8(+)/granzyme B(-)/perforin(-) lymphocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / cytology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / immunology*
  • CD3 Complex / metabolism
  • CD8 Antigens / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / blood supply*
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult


  • CD3 Complex
  • CD8 Antigens