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Brain Res. 2005 Oct 5;1058(1-2):62-72. Epub 2005 Sep 21.

Cadherin-10 is a novel blood-brain barrier adhesion molecule in human and mouse.

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Division of Biomedical Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London, UK.


Maintenance of the specialised environment of the central nervous system requires barriers provided by the endothelium of brain microvessels (the blood-brain barrier (BBB)) or the epithelium lining the ventricles (CSF-brain barrier) or the choroid plexus (blood-CSF barrier). Inter-endothelial junctions are more extensive in the BBB than in other tissues, with elaborate tight junctions. However, few differences in the molecular composition of these junctions have been described. Here, we show, in both human and mouse brain, that the type II classical cadherin, cadherin-10, is expressed in BBB and retinal endothelia, but not in the leaky microvessels of brain circumventricular organs (CVO), or in those of non-CNS tissues. This expression pattern is distinct from, and reciprocal to, VE-cadherin, which is reduced or absent in tight cortical microvessels, but present in leaky CVO vessels. In CVO, the barrier function is switched from the microvasculature to the adjacent ventricular epithelium, which we also find to express cadherin-10. In the vessels of gliobastoma multiforme tumours, where BBB is lost, cadherin-10 is not detected. This demonstration of a distinctive expression pattern of cadherin-10 suggests that it has a pivotal role in the development and maintenance of brain barriers.

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