blood-brain barrier


noun Physiology.

  1. a layer of tightly packed cells that make up the walls of brain capillaries and prevent substances in the blood from diffusing freely into the brain: passage across the cell membranes is determined by solubility in the lipid bilayer or recognition by a transport molecule.

n.

  1. A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of brain capillaries so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.

  1. A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of capillaries in the brain, so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.

The separation of the brain, which is bathed in a clear cerebrospinal fluid, from the bloodstream. The cells near the capillary beds external to the brain selectively filter the molecules that are allowed to enter the brain, creating a more stable, nearly pathogen-free environment.

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