Skip to main content


Brain barriers and their microenvironment: Emerging models and techniques

Edited by  Elizabeth de Lange, Britta Engelhardt and Danica Stanimirovic

Studies of the molecular nature and physiology of brain barriers have been long constrained by a scarcity of appropriate models and methodological approaches. At the same time the importance of brain barriers in all aspects of brain function, pathology and treatment of diseases with targets in the CNS, is increasingly acknowledged. New concepts, approaches, methods and models have started to emerge, promising transformative future leaps in understanding and addressing brain barriers, associated diseases, and treatment considerations.

This thematic issue on Brain Barriers and their Microenvironment: Emerging Models and Techniques presented by Fluids and Barriers of the CNS offers in-depth overviews of currently available state-of-the art experimental procedures and approaches to study brain barriers in context and in concert with their micro- and macro-environment created by both the CNS and the periphery. The issue covers a range of experimental protocols from molecular interrogation of subcellular barrier compartments to in vivo imaging techniques for dynamic and quantitative assessments of barrier functions. Publications within this series will provide both critical overviews and technical advice on techniques and protocols applicable to both outstanding and emerging questions relating to the biology and physiology of brain barriers.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. Content type: Study protocol

    Proteomics has opened a new horizon in biological sciences. Global proteomic analysis is a promising technology for the discovery of thousands of proteins, post-translational modifications, polymorphisms, and ...

    Authors: Yasuo Uchida, Masanori Tachikawa, Wataru Obuchi, Yutaro Hoshi, Yusuke Tomioka, Sumio Ohtsuki and Tetsuya Terasaki

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:21

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Review

    Since the first attempts in the 1970s to isolate cerebral microvessel endothelial cells (CECs) in order to model the blood–brain barrier (BBB) in vitro, the need for a human BBB model that closely mimics the in v...

    Authors: Babette Weksler, Ignacio A Romero and Pierre-Olivier Couraud

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:16

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Study protocol

    Aβ transport (flux) across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease as well as to elimination of toxic amyloid from the brain by immunotherapy. Several ...

    Authors: Wandong Zhang, Huaqi Xiong, Debbie Callaghan, Hong Liu, Aimee Jones, Ke Pei, Dorothy Fatehi, Eric Brunette and Danica Stanimirovic

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:13

    Published on:

  4. Content type: Review

    Despite enormous advances in CNS research, CNS disorders remain the world’s leading cause of disability. This accounts for more hospitalizations and prolonged care than almost all other diseases combined, and ...

    Authors: Elizabeth CM de Lange

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:12

    Published on:

  5. Content type: Study protocol

    It is now recognized that the neuro-vascular unit (NVU) plays a key role in several neurological diseases including epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and the development of gliomas. Mos...

    Authors: Mélanie Morin-Brureau, Frédéric De Bock and Mireille Lerner-Natoli

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:11

    Published on:

  6. Content type: Review

    The role of human choroid plexus (CP) epithelium in the transport of solutes between the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid and/or in secretion processes may be studied by employing several experimental approac...

    Authors: Zoran B Redzic

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:10

    Published on:

  7. Content type: Review

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a functional and structural barrier separating the intravascular and neuropil compartments of the brain. It characterizes the vascular bed and is essential for normal brain fun...

    Authors: Yoash Chassidim, Ronel Veksler, Svetlana Lublinsky, Gaby S Pell, Alon Friedman and Ilan Shelef

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:9

    Published on:

  8. Content type: Study protocol

    The central nervous system (CNS) is an immunologically privileged site to which access for circulating immune cells is tightly controlled by the endothelial blood–brain barrier (BBB) located in CNS microvessel...

    Authors: Caroline Coisne, Ruth Lyck and Britta Engelhardt

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:7

    Published on:

  9. Content type: Study protocol

    The high-throughput brain slice method is a precise and robust technique for estimating the overall uptake of drugs into brain tissue through determination of the unbound volume of distribution in the brain (Vu,b...

    Authors: Irena Loryan, Markus Fridén and Margareta Hammarlund-Udenaes

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:6

    Published on:

  10. Content type: Review

    In multicellular organisms epithelial and endothelial cells form selective permeable interfaces between tissue compartments of different chemical compositions. Tight junctions which connect adjacent cells, con...

    Authors: Kathrin Benson, Sandra Cramer and Hans-Joachim Galla

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:5

    Published on:

  11. Content type: Research

    In addition to possessing intracellular vesicles, eukaryotic cells also produce extracellular microvesicles, ranging from 50 to 1000 nm in diameter that are released or shed into the microenvironment under phy...

    Authors: Arsalan S Haqqani, Christie E Delaney, Tammy-Lynn Tremblay, Caroline Sodja, Jagdeep K Sandhu and Danica B Stanimirovic

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:4

    Published on:

  12. Content type: Review

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a selective endothelial interface that controls trafficking between the bloodstream and brain interstitial space. During development, the BBB arises as a result of complex mult...

    Authors: Ethan S Lippmann, Abraham Al-Ahmad, Sean P Palecek and Eric V Shusta

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:2

    Published on:

  13. Content type: Study protocol

    A critical point during the course of central nervous system infection is the influx of leukocytes from the blood into the brain across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (...

    Authors: Tobias Tenenbaum, Ulrike Steinmann, Corinna Friedrich, Jürgen Berger, Christian Schwerk and Horst Schroten

    Citation: Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013 10:1

    Published on: