Spinal nerve roots
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The permeability of blood vessels in rat spinal nerve roots was investigated with Evans blue-albumin as an in vivo macromolecular tracer and lanthanum as tracers as an electron microscopic ionic marker added to a fixative. Rats injected intravenously with Evans blue, showed macroscopic distinct staining of dorsal root ganglia, whereas spinal nerve roots remained unstained. Fluorescence microscopy, however, revealed clear extravascular fluorescence both in ventral and dorsal roots 2 or 18 h after tracer administration. Two different types of blood vessels exists in spinal nerve root; large extrinsic (radicular) in the root sheath and minute intrinsic vessels in the parenchyma. Lanthanum added to a fixative, perfused through the vessels was detected in the lumen of both types of vessels, usually adhering to the luminal plasma membrane and in many invaginations from that membrane. Lanthanum also entered the clefts between endothelial cells but was always stopped at the junctions which are, thus, of the tight type. Diffuse penetration of the compound into the cytoplasm was seen in one endothelial cell, but no fenestrations were detected. Junctions between the endothelial cells of vessel in rat spinal nerve roots are impermeable to lanthanum and most likely also to other large molecular substances like albumin. Thus, probable routes for serum albumin to enter the nerve rools, where it normally is present, must be either by centripetal extracellular diffusion from the ganglia and the peripheral nerve or by vascular leakage in the roots, caused by for instance pinocytosis across endothelial cells.
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