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Immunological Function of the Blood-Cerebrospinal Fluid Barrier
James A. Nathanson and Linda L. Y. Chun
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 86, No. 5 (Mar. 1, 1989), pp. 1684-1688
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/33264
Page Count: 5
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Because the brain lacks a true lymphatic system, it is unclear how peripheral lymphocytes recognize foreign antigens present in the central nervous system. This report demonstrates that the choroid plexus, which constitutes the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, is able to present foreign antigen to, and stimulate the proliferation of, peripheral helper T lymphocytes through an Ia-dependent, major histocompatibility complex-restricted mechanism. Furthermore, in vivo, choroid plexus epithelial cells have access to, and are capable of taking up, virus-sized particles injected elsewhere into the cerebrospinal fluid. Thus these data suggest that the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier may play a role in immunological communication between the central nervous system and periphery, a function relevant to the initiation of immunological responses to central nervous system infections and autoimmune processes and for the surveillance of tumor cells in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 1989 National Academy of Sciences