Effects of Arachidonic Acid on Blood-Brain Barrier Function

  • M. Wahl
  • A. Unterberg
  • A. Baethmann
Part of the Advances in Neurosurgery book series (NEURO, volume 13)


Increased concentrations of free fatty acids, especially arachidonic acid (AA), have been found in brain tissue under several conditions, such as ischemia (9), severe hypoxia (5) or hypoglycemia (1), cold injury (4), and seizures (8). In addition, release of AA into edema fluid sampled from perifocal brain areas surrounding a cold lesion has been detected (7). AA or its products obviously influence membrane function of parenchymal cells since they may induce cytotoxic edema (3). Electron microscopic investigations have shown lesions of endothelial cells of cerebral vessels exposed to AA (6). Therefore, AA and its metabolites may act as mediators of secondary brain damage, i.e., vasogenic edema. It was the aim of the present study to investigate the effects of AA on the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the caliber of extraparenchymal cerebral arteries and veins when superfusing the cortical surface.


Arachidonic Acid Brain Edema Vasogenic Edema Edema Fluid Pial Artery 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Wahl
    • 1
  • A. Unterberg
    • 2
  • A. Baethmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Abteilung PhysiologieMünchen 2Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Chirurgische Forschung, Klinikum GroßhadernUniversität MünchenMünchen 70Germany

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