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Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers

Date:
April 8, 2016
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
The blood-brain barrier has stymied direct treatment of brain disorders. In a recently published study, a researcher reports finding a way to pass therapeutics through the barrier, using readily-available agents.
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Cornell researchers found that an FDA-approved drug called Lexiscan activates receptors -- called adenosine receptors -- that are expressed on BBB cells.
Credit: Dr. Margaret Bynoe, College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University

Cornell researchers have discovered a way to penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) that may soon permit delivery of drugs directly into the brain to treat disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and chemotherapy-resistant cancers.

The BBB is a layer of endothelial cells that selectively allow entry of molecules needed for brain function, such as amino acids, oxygen, glucose and water, while keeping others out.

Cornell researchers report that an FDA-approved drug called Lexiscan activates receptors -- called adenosine receptors -- that are expressed on these BBB cells.

"We can open the BBB for a brief window of time, long enough to deliver therapies to the brain, but not too long so as to harm the brain. We hope in the future, this will be used to treat many types of neurological disorders," said Margaret Bynoe, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine. Bynoe is senior author of the study, which appears in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Bynoe's team was able to deliver chemotherapy drugs into the brains of mice, as well as large molecules, like an antibody that binds to Alzheimer's disease plaques, according to the paper.

The lab also engineered a BBB model using human primary brain endothelial cells. They observed that Lexiscan opened the engineered BBB in a manner similar to its actions in mice.

Because Lexiscan is an FDA-approved drug,"the potential for a breakthrough in drug delivery systems for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autism, brain tumors and chemotherapy-resistant cancers is not far off," Bynoe said.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Cornell University. Original written by Krishna Ramanujan. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Do-Geun Kim, Margaret S. Bynoe. A2A adenosine receptor modulates drug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2016; DOI: 10.1172/JCI76207

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Cornell University. "Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408132649.htm>.
Cornell University. (2016, April 8). Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408132649.htm
Cornell University. "Blood-brain barrier breakthrough reported by researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160408132649.htm (accessed April 25, 2017).