The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a membranic structure that acts primarily to protect the brain from chemicals in the blood, while still allowing essential metabolic function. It is composed of endothelial cells, which are packed very tightly in brain capillaries. This higher density restricts passage of substances from the bloodstream much more than endothelial cells in capillaries elsewhere in the body. Astrocyte cell projections called astrocytic feet (also known as "glia limitans") surround the endothelial cells of the BBB, providing biochemical support to those cells. The BBB is distinct from the similar blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, a function of the choroidal cells of the choroid plexus, and from the Blood-retinal barrier, which can be considered a part of the whole (the retina of the eye is an extension to the central nervous system and as such, can be considered part of the BBB).