Structural and functional variations in capillary systems within the brain

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1988;529:21-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1988.tb51416.x.


The major hypothesis of this study is that there are differences among brain areas in capillary bed structure and function. Three general differences between circumventricular organ and non-CVO capillary beds were found. First, the PS products for AIB were about 300 times greater in CVO capillaries than in non-CVO (blood-brain barrier) capillaries. Second, the frequency of endothelial cell fenestrations was much greater in CVO capillaries than in non-CVO capillaries and the fenestrae may be structural modifications of endothelial cells that permit ready passage of solutes such as AIB. Third, the frequency of mitochondria was greater in BBB capillaries than in CVO capillaries; this high metabolic potential of BBB capillaries may be associated, in part, with "carrier-mediated" transport of various solutes between plasma and cerebral interstitial fluid. Capillary bed differences among all (i.e., both CVO and non-CVO) brain structures were also observed. Among these differences are: rate of blood flow, mean transit time of albumin, capillary volume and surface area, perfused microvessel blood volume, apparent percentage of perfused capillaries, PS products for AIB, and frequency within the endothelium of vesicular profiles.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aminoisobutyric Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Volume
  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Capillaries / anatomy & histology
  • Capillaries / metabolism
  • Capillaries / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation*
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Neurological
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism


  • Aminoisobutyric Acids
  • Serum Albumin
  • 2-aminoisobutyric acid