The blood-brain barrier in psychoneuroimmunology.

Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center-St. Louis, 915 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63106, USA.
Immunology and allergy clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 3.18). 06/2009; 29(2):223-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.iac.2009.02.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The term ''psychoneuroimmunology'' connotes separate compartments that interact. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is both the dividing line, physical and physiologic, between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS) and the locale for interaction. The BBB restricts unregulated mixing of immune substances in the blood with those in the CNS, directly transports neuroimmune-active substances between the blood and CNS, and itself secretes neuroimmune substances. These normal functions of the BBB can be altered by neuroimmune events. As such, the BBB is an important conduit in the communication between the immune system and the CNS.

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