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!
Tiny songbird discovered to migrate non-stop, 1,500 miles over the Atlantic
01.04.2015 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
The 'intraterrestrials': New viruses discovered in ocean depths
01.04.2015 | National Science Foundation
Spring is here and ectotherms, or animals dependent on external sources to raise their body temperature, are becoming more active. Recent studies have shown...
Glass-fronted office buildings are some of the biggest energy consumers, and regulating their temperature is a big job. Now a façade element developed by Fraunhofer researchers and designers for glass fronts is to reduce energy consumption by harnessing solar thermal energy. A demonstrator version will be on display at Hannover Messe.
In Germany, buildings account for almost 40 percent of all energy usage. Heating, cooling and ventilating homes, offices and public spaces is expensive – and...
Outstanding chemical, thermal and tribological properties predestine silicon carbide for the production of ceramic components of high volume. A novel method now overcomes the procedural and technical limitations of conventional design methods for the production of components with large differences in wall thickness and demanding undercuts.
Extremely hard as diamond, shrinking-free manufacturing, resistance to chemicals, wear and temperatures up to 1300 °C: Silicon carbide (SiSiC) bundles all...
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
01.04.2015 | Earth Sciences
01.04.2015 | Information Technology
01.04.2015 | Physics and Astronomy