Author(s): Oldendorf WH, Cornford ME, Brown WJ
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Abstract Volumes of mitochondria in capillary endothelial cells were determined stereologically from electron micrographs of rat cerebellum, cerebral cortex, spinal cord, cauda equina, choroid plexus, anterior pituitary, median eminence of the hypothalamus, renal proximal tubules, skin, cardiac and skeletal muscle, lung, and renal glomerulus. The capillaries of the first four of these tissue types exhibit blood-brain barrier (BBB) characteristics of permeability and capillary ultrastructure and were found to have mitochondrial contents amounting to 8 to 11\% of the endothelial cytoplasmic volume. Tissues from non-BBB regions were determined to have mitochondrial volumes of 2 to 5\% of their respective cytoplasmic volumes, with a variety of capillary ultrastructures. The apparent excess metabloic work capability of the BBB suggested by this greater number of mitochondria may be related to maintenance of ion differentials between blood plasma and brain extracellular fluid, to extrachoroidal cerebrospinal fluid formation, or to maintaining the unique structural characteristics of central nervous system capillaries.
This article was published in Ann Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Neuroinfectious Diseases