The main goals of in vitro studies of the blood-brain barrier are to reproduce as many aspects of the physiology and biology of the BBB in vivo as possible and to understand human disease. Therefore, it is imperative to stress the need for human cell-based models since several pathological conditions cannot be reproduced in cell-line-derived or rodent-based BBB models.
The current understanding of brain pathophysiology has led to the hypothesis that numerous diseases of the CNS are associated with failure of BBB structural integrity or function, as an altered BBB permeability may be observed in several diseases—epilepsy, ischemia, trauma, etc.
Extravasation of plasma proteins with BBB dysfunction can occur through any number of different transcellular or paracellular routes, including altered tight junctions, disruption of EC membranes, or formation of transendothelial channels. These pathways, however, are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of whether BBB disruption or consequences of the disease(s) themselves are the main factors leading to dysfunction or changes in structural integrity, the understanding of the mechanisms of the BBB is limited. This is perhaps due to the lack of comprehensive BBB models.
Was this article helpful?
This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.