Circumventing the blood-brain barrier with autonomic ganglion transplants

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Science  26 Aug 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4613, pp. 879-881
DOI: 10.1126/science.6879186


Superior cervical ganglia, whose vessels are fenestrated and permeable to protein tracers such as horseradish peroxidase, were transplanted to undamaged surfaces in the fourth ventricle of rat pup brains. Horseradish peroxidase, infused systemically into the host, was exuded from the graft's vessels into the graft's extracellular stroma within 1 minute. At later times the glycoprotein reached the extracellular clefts of adjacent brain tissue, the vessels of which appeared to retain their impermeability. The blood-brain barrier to horseradish peroxide was thus bypassed where the extracellular compartments of graft and brain became confluent. The graft of autonomic ganglia can serve as a portal through which peptides, hormones, and immunoglobulins may likewise enter the brain.