Unique features of the arterial blood–brain barrier

Batia Bell, Shira Anzi, Esther Sasson, Ayal Ben-Zvi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CNS vasculature differs from vascular networks of peripheral organs by its ability to tightly control selective material exchange across capillary barriers. Capillary permeability is mostly defined by unique cellular components of the endothelium. While capillaries are extensively investigated, the barrier properties of larger vessels are understudied. Here, we investigate barrier properties of CNS arterial walls. Using tracer challenges and various imaging modalities, we discovered that at the mouse cortex, the arterial barrier does not reside at the classical level of the endothelium. The arterial wall’s unique permeability acts bi-directionally; CSF substances travel along the glymphatic path and can penetrate from the peri-vascular space through arteriolar walls towards the lumen. We found that caveolae vesicles in arteriole endothelial are functional transcytosis machinery components, and that a similar mechanism is evident in the human brain. Our discoveries highlight vascular heterogeneity investigations as a potent approach to uncover new barrier mechanisms.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number51
JournalFluids and Barriers of the CNS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank; the Ben-Zvi group for scientific inputs, Dr. Evellina Sjostedt and Dr. Yaron Meirovitch for scientific inputs and guidance with the H01 dataset analyses, Gillian Kay for scientific editing, the electron microscopy units (intra-departmental core facility at the Hebrew University Medical School and the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences) for technical support.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (2015PG-ISL007); and the Israel Science Foundation (grants 1882/16 and 2402/16) to ABZ.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Arterial berrier
  • BBB
  • Super-resolution
  • Transcytosis
  • dSTORM


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