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, 39 (7), 711-9

Neurotoxicology of the Brain Barrier System: New Implications


Neurotoxicology of the Brain Barrier System: New Implications

W Zheng. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol.


The concept of a barrier system in the brain has existed for nearly a century. The barrier that separates the blood from the cerebral interstitial fluid is defined as the blood-brain barrier, while the one that discontinues the circulation between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid is named the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Evidence in the past decades suggests that brain barriers are subject to toxic insults from neurotoxic chemicals circulating in blood. The aging process and some disease states render barriers more vulnerable to insults arising inside and outside the barriers. The implication of brain barriers in certain neurodegenerative diseases is compelling, although the contribution of chemical-induced barrier dysfunction in the etiology of any of these disorders remains poorly understood. This review examines what is currently understood about brain barrier systems in central nervous system disorders by focusing on chemical-induced neurotoxicities including those associated with nitrobenzenes, N-methyl-D-aspartate, cyclosporin A, pyridostigmine bromide, aluminum, lead, manganese, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, and 3-nitropropionic acid. Contemporary research questions arising from this growing understanding show enormous promises for brain researchers, toxicologists, and clinicians.

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