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Genetic mouse models to study blood–brain barrier development and function

Fabien Sohet and Richard Daneman

Author Affiliations

UCSF Department of Anatomy, 513 Parnassus Ave HSW1301, San Francisco, California, 94143, USA

Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013, 10:3  doi:10.1186/2045-8118-10-3

Published: 10 January 2013


The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a complex physiological structure formed by the blood vessels of the central nervous system (CNS) that tightly regulates the movement of substances between the blood and the neural tissue. Recently, the generation and analysis of different genetic mouse models has allowed for greater understanding of BBB development, how the barrier is regulated during health, and its response to disease. Here we discuss: 1) Genetic mouse models that have been used to study the BBB, 2) Available mouse genetic tools that can aid in the study of the BBB, and 3) Potential tools that if generated could greatly aid in our understanding of the BBB.

Blood–brain barrier; Mouse models; Endothelial cells; Neuro-vascular unit; Astrocytes; Pericytes; Central Nervous system