In situ molecular characterization of endoneurial microvessels that form the blood-nerve barrier in normal human adult peripheral nerves

Academic Article


  • The blood-nerve barrier (BNB) formed by tight junction-forming endoneurial microvessels located in the innermost compartment of peripheral nerves, and the perineurium serve to maintain the internal microenvironment required for normal signal transduction. The specific molecular components that define the normal adult human BNB are not fully known. Guided by data derived from the adult human BNB transcriptome, we evaluated the in situ expression of 25 junctional complex, transporter, cell membrane, and cytoskeletal proteins in four histologically normal adult sural nerves by indirect fluorescent immunohistochemistry to determine proteins specifically expressed by restrictive endoneurial microvascular endothelium. Using Ulex Europaeus Agglutinin-1 expression to detect endothelial cells, we ascertained that the selected proteins were uniformly expressed in ≥90% of endoneurial microvessels. P-glycoprotein (also known as adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette subfamily B member 1) and solute carrier family 1 member 1 demonstrated restricted expression by endoneurial endothelium only, with classic tight junction protein claudin-5 also expressed on fenestrated epineurial macrovessels, and vascular-specific adherens junction protein cadherin-5 also expressed by the perineurium. The expression profiles of the selected proteins provide significant insight into the molecular composition of normal adult peripheral nerves. Further work is required to elucidate the human adult BNB molecular signature in order to better understand its development and devise strategies to restore function in peripheral neuropathies.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ouyang X; Dong C; Ubogu EE
  • Start Page

  • 195
  • End Page

  • 206
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 2