Altered blood–brain barrier transport in neuro-inflammatory disorders

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During neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS), the protective function of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) may be severely impaired. The general neuro-inflammatory response, ranging from activation of glial cells to immune cell infiltration that is frequently associated with such brain diseases may underlie the loss of the integrity and function of the BBB. Consequentially, the delivery and disposition of drugs to the brain will be altered and may influence the treatment efficiency of such diseases. Altered BBB transport of drugs into the CNS during diseases may be the result of changes in both specific transport and non-specific transport pathways. Potential alterations in transport routes like adsorptive mediated endocytosis and receptor-mediated endocytosis may affect drug delivery to the brain. As such, drugs that normally are unable to traverse the BBB may reach their target in the diseased brain due to increased permeability. In contrast, the delivery of (targeted) drugs could be hampered during inflammatory conditions due to disturbed transport mechanisms. Therefore, the inventory of the neuro-inflammatory status of the neurovasculature (or recovery thereof) is of utmost importance in choosing and designing an adequate drug targeting strategy under disease conditions. Within this review we will briefly discuss how the function of the BBB can be affected during disease and how this may influence the delivery of drugs into the diseased CNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-11
Number of pages7
JournalDrug Discovery Today: Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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