Lipoproteins and Reconstituted Blood-Brain Barrier

  • Stéphane Méresse
  • Marie-Pierre Dehouck
  • Pierre Delorme
  • Jean-Charles Fruchart
  • Roméo Cecchelli
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 218)


Tight junctions between cerebral endothelial cells and the low rate of pinocytosis and vesicular transport are believed to constitute the structural basis of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), that prevents passive diffusion of proteins from the blood into the brain (Bradbury, 1985). Carrier mediated transport systems which facilitate the uptake of hexoses, amino-acids, purines coumpounds and mono carboxylic acids have also been revealed in the cerebral endothelium (for review, see Betz and Goldstein, 1986), but, until now, little information has come to light regarding the cerebral uptake of lipids. Recently, the presence of apolipoproteins, lipoproteins (Roheim et al., 1979; Elshourbagy et al., 1985) and their receptors (Hofmann et al., 1987; Pitas et al., 1987) was detected in the brain. The fact that enzymes involved in lipoprotein metabolism are present in the brain microvasculature (Brecher and Kuan, 1979) suggests that a system designed to maintain cholesterol homeostasis must exist in the central nervous system. Thus, cholesterol could be derived from de novo synthesis within the brain or from the plasma via the blood-brain barrier. Whether plasma low density lipoprotein (LDL) which is the major carrier of cholesterol is involved in this exchange is not known. Furthermore, the fact that the entire fraction of drug bound to lipoproteins is available for entry into the brain (Urien et al., 1987) strongly suggests that the interactions of lipoproteins with endothelial cells could play an important role in drug transport across the BBB.


Tight Junction Bovine Brain Bovine Aortic Endothelial Cell Brain Capillary Endothelial Cell Cerebral Endothelial Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stéphane Méresse
    • 1
  • Marie-Pierre Dehouck
    • 1
  • Pierre Delorme
    • 2
  • Jean-Charles Fruchart
    • 1
  • Roméo Cecchelli
    • 1
  1. 1.SERLIA et INSERMLille CédexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Neurobiologie FonctionnelleUniversité de Lille IFrance

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