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Blood–Brain Barrier Pathology in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease: Implications for Drug Therapy

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Abstract:

The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a tightly regulated barrier in the central nervous system. Though the BBB is thought to be intact during neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), recent evidence argues otherwise. Dysfunction of the BBB may be involved in disease progression, eliciting of peripheral immune response, and, most importantly, altered drug efficacy. In this review, we will give a brief overview of the BBB, its components, and their functions. We will critically evaluate the current literature in AD and PD BBB pathology resulting from insult, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration. Specifically, we will discuss alterations in tight junction, transport and endothelial cell surface proteins, and vascular density changes, all of which result in altered permeability. Finally, we will discuss the implications of BBB dysfunction in current and future therapeutics. Developing a better appreciation of BBB dysfunction in AD and PD may not only provide novel strategies in treatment, but will prove an interesting milestone in understanding neurodegenerative disease etiology and progression.

Keywords: Permeability; Progression; Therapeutics; Tight junction

Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000007783464731

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, USA 2: Department of Pharmacology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, USA, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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