Blood-brain barrier

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Blood-brain barrier [r]: Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined endothelial cells with tight junctions that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the brain tissue. [e]

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(CC) Image: Rönnbäck and Hansson, 2004
Schematic drawing of cellular regulation of extracellular glutamate concentrations ([Glu]ec) in normal brain function. Two neuronal cell bodies with processes (white) make contact with each other through a synapse (center). Astrocytic (pink) processes encapsulate the synapse and cover also the abluminal side of the blood vessel wall (right). The endothelial cells covering the luminal (blood) side of the vessel wall and the astrocytic processes make up the blood brain barrier (BBB). An oligodendroglial cell (bluish), with its myelin encapsulating the axon, and a microglial cell (yellow) are seen. The astrocytes, with their high-affinity glutamate transporters, are the main site for keeping [Glu]ec low. Even neurons express glutamate transporters, as do oligodendroglial cells, and endothelial cells at their abluminal side.