Guards of the blood-brain barrier identified

Guards of the blood-brain barrier identified

Pericytes crucial to protecting central nervous system

By Rachel Ehrenberg, 15:04 PM October 13, 2010

Of all the body’s organs, the brain is the most like Area 51: Entry to the region is severely restricted, thanks to a barricade of cells and molecules known collectively as the blood-brain barrier. Increased surveillance by scientists has now pinpointed the barrier’s senior operatives, cells that are tasked with monitoring the razor wire–like barricade that keeps all but a select few from entering the brain.

In two papers published online October 13 in Nature, scientists report that special...

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