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Review: Leucocyte–endothelial cell crosstalk at the blood–brain barrier: A prerequisite for successful immune cell entry to the brain

Authors


John Greenwood, Department of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London EC1V 9EL, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 207 608 6858; Fax: +44 (0) 207 608 6810; E-mail: j.greenwood@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

J. Greenwood, S. J. Heasman, J. I. Alvarez, A. Prat, R. Lyck and B. Engelhardt (2011) Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology37, 24–39
Leucocyte–endothelial cell crosstalk at the blood–brain barrier: A prerequisite for successful immune cell entry to the brain

Leucocyte migration into the central nervous system is a key stage in the development of multiple sclerosis. While much has been learnt regarding the sequential steps of leucocyte capture, adhesion and migration across the vasculature, the molecular basis of leucocyte extravasation is only just being unravelled. It is now recognized that bidirectional crosstalk between the immune cell and endothelium is an essential element in mediating diapedesis during both normal immune surveillance and under inflammatory conditions. The induction of various signalling networks, through engagement of cell surface molecules such as integrins on the leucocyte and immunoglobulin superfamily cell adhesion molecules on the endothelial cell, play a major role in determining the pattern and route of leucocyte emigration. In this review we discuss the extent of our knowledge regarding leucocyte migration across the blood–brain barrier and in particular the endothelial cell signalling pathways contributing to this process.

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