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Drug Transport in Brain via the Cerebrospinal Fluid


Drug Transport in Brain via the Cerebrospinal Fluid

William M Pardridge. Fluids Barriers CNS.


The human brain has no lymphatic system, but produces over a half-liter each day of cerebrospinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid is secreted at the choroid plexus and occupies the cavities of the four ventricles, as well as the cranial and spinal sub-arachnoid space. The cerebrospinal fluid moves over the surfaces of the brain and spinal cord and is rapidly absorbed into the general circulation. The choroid plexus forms the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and this barrier is functionally distinct from the brain microvascular endothelium, which forms the blood-brain barrier. Virtually all non-cellular substances in blood distribute into cerebrospinal fluid, and drug entry into cerebrospinal fluid is not an index of drug transport across the blood-brain barrier. Drug injected into the cerebrospinal fluid rapidly moves into the blood via bulk flow, but penetrates into brain tissue poorly owing to the limitations of diffusion. Drug transport into cerebrospinal fluid vs. brain interstitial fluid requires knowledge of the relative expression of transporters at the choroid plexus versus the brain microvascular endothelium.

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