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J Biophys Biochem Cytol. 1955 May 25;1(3):245-56.

An electron microscopic study of the blood-brain barrier in the rat, employing silver nitrate as a vital stain.

Abstract

The intravital deposition of silver in the chorioid plexuses, area postrema, intercolumnar tubercle, neurohypophysis, and pineal body of rats, given 1.5 gm. of silver nitrate per liter of drinking water for periods of up to one year, has been investigated by electron microscopy. Unlike other parts of the central nervous system, these regions store large amounts of silver. In all of these structures, silver is deposited in the form of dense granules in the basement membrane upon which the capillary endothelium rests, in and upon the connective tissue cells and fibers constituting a loose pericapillary sheath, and in an outer membrane separating this sheath from the parenchymatous cells. Parts of the central nervous system which do not store silver, for example the spinal cord, cerebellar cortex, cerebral cortex, and reticular formation, lack a connective tissue investment of the capillaries. In these locations, the glial processes or end-feet are closely applied to the walls of the capillaries. Only a narrow space, filled by an amorphous, moderately electron-dense substance, separates the plasma membranes of the endothelial cells and glial processes. The significance of these observations is discussed with respect to the questions of the Virchow-Robin perivascular spaces, the interstitial ground-substance of the brain, and the location of the hematoencephalic barrier.

PMID:
13242590
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2223811
Free PMC Article
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