Blood-brain barrier permeability considerations for CNS-targeted compound library design

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2008 Jun;12(3):318-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.03.019. Epub 2008 Apr 22.


A further refinement of the concept of drug-likeness is required for compound libraries intended for central nervous system (CNS) targets to account for the limitations imposed by blood-brain barrier permeability. This review describes criteria and processes that can be applied in the de novo design and assembly of libraries to increase the odds of compounds residing within CNS-accessible chemical space. A number of published examples where CNS activity and/or penetration characteristics have been a factor in library design are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Permeability
  • Small Molecule Libraries / metabolism*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*


  • Small Molecule Libraries