Role of caveolin-1 in the biology of the blood-brain barrier

Rev Neurosci. 2014;25(2):247-54. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2013-0039.


Caveolin-1 is the principal marker of caveolae in endothelial cells. It plays an important role in physiological and pathological conditions of the blood-brain barrier and serves as a mediator in drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier. Caveolin-1 is related to the diminished expression of tight junction-associated proteins and metabolic pinocytosis vesicles when the blood-brain barrier is destroyed by outside invaders or malignant stimulus. The permeability of the blood-brain barrier, regulated by types of drugs or physical irradiation, is connected with drug transportation with the participation of caveolin-1. Caveolin-1, which serves as a platform or medium for signal transduction, cooperates with several signal molecules by forming a complex. Silencing of caveolin-1 and disruption of caveolae can attenuate or remove pathological damage and even engender the opposite effects in the blood-brain barrier. This review considers the role of caveolin-1 in the blood-brain barrier that may have profound implications for central nervous system disease and drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiology*
  • Capillary Permeability / physiology*
  • Caveolae / metabolism
  • Caveolin 1 / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Caveolin 1