The blood-follicle barrier (BFB) in disease and in ovarian function

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;763:186-92. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-4711-5_9.


The blood-follicle barrier (BFB) is one of the blood-tissue barriers in mammalian body found in developing follicles in the ovary. The BFB, besides the tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier of the endothelial cells in the microvessels that surround the developing follicle, is constituted and contributed significantly by the basement membrane of the developing follicle which alters its composition rapidly during follicle development. While the concept of the BFB and its ultrastructure were described more than six decades ago, fewer than 20 reports are found in the literature that were dedicated to investigate the biology, regulation, and function of the BFB either in health or in disease. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the adhesion protein complexes and the regulation of the junction dynamics at the BFB are still missing in the literature. The goal of this short chapter is to provide an update on this important blood-tissue barrier, it is obvious that future investigation is much needed in the field to understand this ultrastructure better in order to treat and better ovarian disorders including ovarian cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / blood supply
  • Basement Membrane / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Female
  • Follicular Fluid / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry
  • Ovarian Follicle / blood supply
  • Ovarian Follicle / pathology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood supply
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / pathology
  • Tight Junctions / pathology