Leukocyte transmigration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a multistep process that can be mediated by chemokines. These low-molecular-weight chemoattractant proteins are secreted by cells within the central nervous system (CNS) in response to injury or on activation. Leukocytes transmigrate toward this chemokine gradient, crossing the BBB and gaining access to the CNS parenchyma. Depending on the chemokine, the nature of the insult, and the type of cell that transmigrates, the BBB integrity may be disrupted, leading to its increased permeability. Both the inflammation resulting from leukocyte transmigration and BBB perturbations contribute to CNS pathology. The mechanisms that mediate leukocyte transmigration and BBB disruption, as well as tissue culture models that are used to study leukocyte trafficking, are the focus of this review.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology