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Researchers find out how blood vessels protect the brain during inflammation


blood hose

A blood vessel with erythrocyte (red blood cells, E) within its lumen, endothecular cells that form its intimate tunica (inner layer), and pericytes that form its tunica adventitia (external layer) Credit: Robert M. Hunt / Wikipedia / CC BY 3.0

Researchers from the British University of Columbia have discovered how blood vessels protect the brain during inflammation that can lead to the development of new treatments for neurosurial diseases such as stroke, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

In a study published today in the National Science Academy Transactions, researchers describe how podocalyxin, protein in blood vessels, plays a key role in preventing harmful blood components from leaking to the virus during inflammation in response to infection or injury.

The discovery identifies the first time scientists have understood the role of podocalyxin in the blood-brain barrier – a membrane that separates the brain from a blood that cycles in the rest the body that is essential to maintain a healthy brain function. Disturbance of this barrier is common in neurosurgery and contributes to the symptoms of ill health.

"These findings are extremely exciting," said Jessica Cait, leading study author and graduate research student at the UBB Biomedical Research Center. "For the first time, we have been able to show that this protein is essential to the integrity of the blood brain barrier."

To conduct the study, researchers performed an analysis of the effects of podocalyxin loss in human endothecular cells, as well as in inflammation mouse models. They were able to show that endothecular cells, which provide the internal tubes of blood vessels, require podocalycin to strengthen the blood vessels. The protein helps to create tight connections between the cells so that blood components that may be harmful or bacterial and viral toxins can not cut tissue and brain during inflammation periods.

"So far, the role of this protein was a mystery," said Dr Michael Hughes, co-lead author and research associate at the Biomedical Research Center. "No one was thinking of looking at this as something that impedes the barrier of the blood brain".

The researchers hope their findings will lead to the development of new drugs and treatments for the prevention of the brain's blood barrier. They have also started handling podocalycin to control the opening of the blood-brain barrier.

"A significant obstacle to treating neurotic diseases is currently that most drugs can not cross the blood barrier," said Dr Kelly McNagny, senior study author and teacher in the UBC medical genetics department and & # 39; r School of Biomedical Engineering. "But if we can stimulate the opening of the barrier of the brain-blood barrier, which could allow us to provide treatment directly to the tissue and the brain."

Failures in the dementia-related brain-related barrier

More information:
Jessica Cait et al, Podocalyxin are required to maintain the function of the brain's blood barrier during acute inflammation, National Science Academy Transactions (2019). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.1814766116

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University of British Columbia

Researchers find out how blood vessels protect the brain during inflammation (2019, February 21)
which was restored on 21 February 2019
o https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-blood-vessels-brain-inflammation.html

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