Document Detail

Brain meets body: the blood-brain barrier as an endocrine interface.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22778219     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) separates the central nervous system (CNS) from the peripheral tissues. However, this does not prevent hormones from entering the brain, but shifts the main control of entry to the BBB. In general, steroid hormones cross the BBB by transmembrane diffusion, a nonsaturable process resulting in brain levels that reflect blood levels, whereas thyroid hormones and many peptides and regulatory proteins cross using transporters, a saturable process resulting in brain levels that reflect blood levels and transporter characteristics. Protein binding, brain-to-blood transport, and pharmacokinetics modulate BBB penetration. Some hormones have the opposite effect within the CNS than they do in the periphery, suggesting that these hormones cross the BBB to act as their own counterregulators. The cells making up the BBB are also endocrine like, both responding to circulating substances and secreting substances into the circulation and CNS. By dividing a hormone's receptors into central and peripheral pools, the former of which may not be part of the hormone's negative feed back loop, the BBB fosters the development of variable hormone resistance syndromes, as exemplified by evidence that altered insulin action in the CNS can contribute to Alzheimer's disease. In summary, the BBB acts as a regulatory interface in an endocrine-like, humoral-based communication between the CNS and peripheral tissues.
William A Banks
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review     Date:  2012-07-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Endocrinology     Volume:  153     ISSN:  1945-7170     ISO Abbreviation:  Endocrinology     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-24     Completed Date:  2012-10-29     Revised Date:  2013-09-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375040     Medline TA:  Endocrinology     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4111-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Transport / physiology
Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
Brain / metabolism*
Central Nervous System / metabolism
Hormones / metabolism
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:

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