Research from the University of Copenhagen is shedding new light on the brain's complicated barrier tissue.
The blood-brain barrier is an effective barrier which protects the brain, but which at the same time makes it difficult to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's. In an in vitro blood-brain barrier, researchers can recreate the brain's transport processes for the benefit of the development of new pharmaceuticals for the brain. The new research findings are published in the AAPS Journal.
The blood-brain barrier is an effective barrier which protects the brain, but which at the same time makes it difficult to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Ninety-five per cent of all tested pharmacological agents for treating brain disorders fail, because they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. It is therefore important to find a possible method for transporting drugs past the brain's efficient outpost and fervent protector.
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen have recreated the complex blood-brain barrier in a laboratory model, which is based on cells from animals. In a new study, the researchers have studied the obstreperous bouncer proteins in the barrier tissue. The proteins protect the brain, but also prevent the treatment of brain diseases:
"The blood-brain barrier is chemically tight because the cells contain transporter proteins which make sure that substances entering the cells are thrown straight back out into the bloodstream again. We have shown that the barrier which we have created in the laboratory contains the same bouncer proteins – and that they behave in the same way as in a 'real' brain.
This is important, because the model can be used to test drive the difficult way into the brain. Complex phenomena – which we have so far only been able to study in live animals –can now be investigated in simple laboratory experiments using cultivated cells," says postdoc Hans Christian Cederberg Helms from the Department of Pharmacy.
The research team has shown that the transporter proteins P-glycoprotein, breast cancer resistance protein and multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 are active in the artificially created barrier tissue. The proteins pump pharmacological agents from the 'brain side' to the 'blood side' in the same way as in the human blood-brain barrier.
The new findings have resulted from collaboration with industrial scientists from the pharmaceutical company H. Lundbeck A/S. "It is important to the treatment of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's that we find a way of circumventing the brain's effective defence. The university and industry must work together to overcome the fundamental challenges inherent in developing pharmaceuticals for the future," says Lassina Badolo, Principal Scientist with H. Lundbeck A/S and an expert on the absorption of medicines in the body.
Associate Professor Birger Brodin adds: "We have shown that the models have the same bouncer proteins as the ones found in the intact barrier. We are now in the process of studying the proteins in the blood-brain barrier that accept pharmacological agents instead of throwing them out. If we can combine a beneficial substance which the brain needs with a so-called 'absorber protein', we will in the long term be able to smuggle pharmacological agents across the blood-brain barrier."
Birger Brodin heads the Drug Transporters in ADME research group which is responsible for the in vitro blood-brain barrier.
Cell: +45 22 48 03 55
Birger Brodin | Eurek Alert!
Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1
27.10.2016 | NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape
27.10.2016 | International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences