About this Research Topic
The blood brain barrier (BBB) is composed of cerebral capillaries, and some adjacent larger blood vessels, possessing specialized polarized endothelial cells with high electrical resistance due to the presence of tight junctions. The endothelial cells mediate transport processes between the blood and brain, and thereby serve to control brain extracellular fluid homeostasis. Barrier functions may be influenced by perivascular cells including astrocytes, pericytes, microglia, and neurons, collectively referred to as the neurovascular unit.
There is current evidence that several central nervous system disorders are associated with BBB malfunction. Thus, defining the specific properties of BBB endothelial cells, and their regulation by perivascular elements, is of great importance in understanding brain pathophysiology.
We propose a group of articles that illustrate dynamic aspects of BBB function and disease, including a brief historical introduction providing an overview; an overview of functional differences between the luminal (blood-facing) and abluminal (brain-facing) plasmalemmal domains of the polarized endothelial cells; a description of the junctional complexes that impart a high electrical resistance to the barrier; and a review of transport processes for solutes including glucose, amino acids, electrolytes, and peptides. Furthermore, mechanisms for regulating barrier function will be reviewed, and strategies for drug delivery will be discussed. Finally, BBB malfunction associated with key central nervous system disorders will be described.
Topic Editor Darryl Peterson is owner of Harbor Biotechnology, LLC, and has been awarded patents related to the treatment of stroke. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: blood brain barrier
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