Antigen Presentation at the Blood-Brain Barrier: A Role for Astrocytes?

  • Manuel B. Graeber
Part of the Altschul Symposia Series book series (ALSS, volume 2)


The observation that astrocytes may function as antigen presenting cells (APCs) in vitro (Fontana et al., 1984) has had a significant impact on the development of research into immunological functions of glial cells and, probably, on the field of neuroimmunology as a whole. Moreover, it has paved the way for new approaches to the study of important central nervous system (CNS) pathologies where glial cells appear to be actively involved, including the CNS response to trauma, CNS repair and neuronal degeneration. Yet, an increasing number of recent studies serve to de-emphasize rather than to support a role for astrocytes as antigen presenting cells in vivo (e.g., Poltorak and Freed, 1989; Boyle and McGeer, 1990; Matsumoto et al., 1992b). In the following sections, arguments in favor and against such a role are presented, and special attention is paid to the question whether astrocytes may or may not be involved in antigen presentation at the blood-brain barrier (BBB).


Major Histocompatibility Complex Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Perivascular Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel B. Graeber
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of NeuropathologyLudwig Maximilians UniversityMunich 2Germany

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