Study of protein characteristics that influence entry into the cerebrospinal fluid of normal mice and mice with encephalitis

J Clin Invest. 1982 Aug;70(2):289-95. doi: 10.1172/jci110616.


Entry of proteins into the cerebrospinal (CSF) from the blood is partially determined by the size of the protein. To determine whether other characteristics of proteins influence CSF entry, proteins or protein fragments were iodinated, inoculated intravenously, and serum and CSF were sampled at later times. The Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G (IgG) did not enter the CSF significantly better than the Fab fragment suggesting that choroidal Fc receptors are not of importance for selective immunoglobulin entry. To determine the role of protein charge on entry, bovine serum albumin [isoelectric point (pI) = 3.9] was chemically altered to provide an albumin with an average pI of 6 (A-6) and another with a pI of 8.5 (A-8). All albumins were of the same size on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A-8 entered the CSF approximately 10-fold better than the native albumin. A-6 was intermediate, entering approximately twofold better. At the time of increased CSF protein concentration during an acute viral encephalitis these differences were narrowed but not eliminated. It is concluded that charge is an important determinant of protein entry into the CSF.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Time Factors


  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Serum Albumin
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine