Journal article

Physiology and molecular biology of barrier mechanisms in the fetal and neonatal brain

Norman R Saunders, Katarzyna M Dziegielewska, Kjeld Mollgard, Mark D Habgood



Properties of the local internal environment of the adult brain are tightly controlled providing a stable milieu essential for its normal function. The mechanisms involved in this complex control are structural, molecular and physiological (influx and efflux transporters) frequently referred to as the 'blood-brain barrier'. These mechanisms include regulation of ion levels in brain interstitial fluid essential for normal neuronal function, supply of nutrients, removal of metabolic products, and prevention of entry or elimination of toxic agents. A key feature is cerebrospinal fluid secretion and turnover. This is much less during development, allowing greater accumulation of permeating molec..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We should like to thank the numerous undergraduate and graduate students as well as the many collaborators who have contributed to this work over nearly five decades. Without their input very little of this could have been achieved. We also acknowledge financial support from many grant bodies, which included MRC (UK), AFRC (UK), Action Research for the Crippled Child (UK), The Wellcome Trust, The Leverhulme Trust, National Institutes of Health (USA), Australian Research Council, National Health & Medical Research Council, Australia and European Union-FP7.