Researchers have identified a novel mechanism by which immune cells wiggle their way across the blood-brain barrier in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). A type of T-cell involved in autoimmune disease leads the way, entering the brain and perhaps priming the blood-brain barrier's membrane to attract other immune cells -- opening the door for those cells to do their inflammatory damage, according to a study published online yesterday (Mar 22) in Nature Immunology.
The choroid plexus is a doorway
into the brain for T lymphocytes.

Image: Andrew Elston/
LifeSpan BioSciences, Inc.
"This study certainly refines our understanding on how inflammatory cells cross the blood-brain barrier," said clinical immunologist Ralf Linker at St Josef-Hospital/Ruhr-University Bochum, who was not involved in the research. The blood-brain barrier is a selectively permeable interface between brain tissue and circulating molecules and cells. For years, researchers studying MS have used a mouse model of...

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