This review introduces the traditionally defined anatomic compartments of the peripheral nerves based on light and electron microscopic topography and then explores the cellular and the most recent molecular basis of the different barrier functions operative in peripheral nerves. We also elucidate where, and how, the homeostasis of the normal human peripheral nerve is controlled in situ and how claudin-containing tight junctions contribute to the barriers of peripheral nerve. Also, the human timeline of the development of the barriers of the peripheral nerve is depicted. Finally, potential future therapeutic modalities interfering with the barriers of the peripheral nerve are discussed.
Keywords: Schwann cell; basement membrane; endothelial cell; perineurial cell; perineurium; peripheral nerve; tight junction; transcytosis.