Cell Culture Models of the Blood-Brain Barrier: New Research

John J. Callanan
Veterinary Pathology, UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, Conway Institute of Molecular and Biomedical Research University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland

Nicola F. Fletcher
Institute for Biomedical Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Series: Neuroscience Research Progress, Neurology – Laboratory and Clinical Research Developments
BISAC: MED056000

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The blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions as an interface between the blood and the brain parenchyma, and restricts the passage of large and hydrophilic substances into the central nervous system. In vertebrates, tight junctions between brain capillary endothelial cells form this barrier, and this phenotype is maintained by the close association of astrocytes and pericytes with brain endothelial cells.

Cell culture models of the BBB have been developed to study drug and nanoparticle transport to the brain and the mechanisms used by pathogens to cross the BBB. Recently, it has been reported that pericytes play a role in the maintenance of BBB integrity, and culture models have been developed which more closely mimic the in vivo situation by including pericytes and by culturing endothelial cells under flow conditions, which increases tight junction integrity. This review will explore new developments in in vitro BBB culture techniques, and the advances in our understanding of BBB interactions with drugs and pathogens. (Imprint: Nova)

Abstract

Introduction: The Blood-Brain Barrier

Structure of the Blood-Brain Barrier

Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells and Transporter Mechanisms

Immune Cell Trafficking at the Blood-Brain Barrier

In vitro tissue-Culture Based Models Used to Study The Blood-Brain Barrier

Applications of In vitro BBB Systems to Study Drug Transport to the Brain

Applications of In vitro BBB Systems to Study Viral Interactions with the BBB

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