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Cephalopod NeurobiologyNeuroscience Studies in Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish$
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N. Joan Abbott, Roddy Williamson, and Linda Maddock

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547907

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547907.001.0001

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A novel occluding junction forms the blood–brain barrier in cephalopod molluscs

A novel occluding junction forms the blood–brain barrier in cephalopod molluscs

(p.445) 27 A novel occluding junction forms the blood–brain barrier in cephalopod molluscs
Cephalopod Neurobiology

Magnus Bundgaard

N. Joan Abbott

Nancy J. Lane

Oxford University Press

Cephalopod molluscs such as octopus, squid, and cuttlefish are among the most advanced invertebrates known, with large brains and highly developed sensory and motor capabilities. This chapter reviews recent high-resolution electron microscopic studies of the blood–brain interface in Sepia which demonstrate that the blood–brain barrier is formed by a novel restricting junction, between vascular pericytes in arterial vessels, and between perivascular glial cells in capillaries and venous vessels. The filtering properties of the junction appear to be determined by the extracellular matrix within the intercellular cleft, and a model is proposed by which adsorbed plasma proteins cross-link the matrix and reduce its effective mesh size. Electron microscopic examination of electron-dense tracer distribution in octopus and squid brains confirms that a blood–brain barrier to protein is also present in these groups. There is considerable variability in the structure and permeability of junctional zones in different tissues and species. This may reflect the combinations possible by subtle alterations in the two major components: the membranous elements of the junction and the material packing the intercellular cleft.

Keywords:   Cephalopod molluscs, blood–brain barrier, vascular pericytes, perivascular glial cells, junctional zones, matrix

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