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Cell Tissue Res. 1983;230(3):649-60.

Permeability of the blood-brain barrier in the median eminence during the perinatal period in rats.


An electron microscopic study has been carried out in order to examine the permeability of the blood-brain barrier in the median eminence of perinatal rats. After several minutes, intravascularly injected electron-dense tracers (lanthanum nitrate; horseradish peroxidase, 40000 MW1, ferritin, 500000 MW) pass the capillary wall, the perivascular space, and become incorporated into neurosecretory axons and basal processes of tanycytes both in fetuses and young rats. In the case of immature capillaries, the materials diffuse freely through the endothelial cells, and to a lesser extent are transferred via occasional plasmalemmal vesicles and fenestrae. As the maturation of capillaries proceeds, their permeability via plasmalemmal vesicles and fenestrae increases considerably due to a gradual rise of the number of these structures. The plasmalemmata of the differentiated endothelial cells become impermeable to all of the tracers. Only ionic lanthanum appears to penetrate through transendothelial channels and intercellular junctions between adjacent endothelial cells.

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