Abstract: The majority of brain metastases originate from lung cancer, breast cancer and malignant melanoma. In order to reach the brain, parenchyma metastatic cells have to transmigrate through the endothelial cell layer of brain capillaries, which forms the morphological basis of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB has a dual role in brain metastasis formation: it forms a tight barrier protecting the central nervous system from entering cancer cells, but it is also actively involved in protecting metastatic cells during extravasation and proliferation in the brain. The mechanisms of interaction of cancer cells and cerebral endothelial cells are largely uncharacterized. Here, we provide a comprehensive review on our current knowledge about the role of junctional and adhesion molecules, soluble factors, proteolytic enzymes and signaling pathways mediating the attachment of tumor cells to brain endothelial cells and the transendothelial migration of metastatic cells. Since brain metastases represent a great therapeutic challenge, it is indispensable to understand the mechanisms of the interaction of tumor cells with the BBB in order to find targets of prevention of brain metastasis formation.
Keywords: blood-brain barrier; cerebral endothelial cell; tight junction; paracellular transmigration; astrocyte; central nervous system; metastasis; breast cancer; lung cancer; melanoma
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Wilhelm, I.; Molnár, J.; Fazakas, C.; Haskó, J.; Krizbai, I.A. Role of the Blood-Brain Barrier in the Formation of Brain Metastases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 1383-1411.
Wilhelm I, Molnár J, Fazakas C, Haskó J, Krizbai IA. Role of the Blood-Brain Barrier in the Formation of Brain Metastases. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(1):1383-1411.
Wilhelm, Imola; Molnár, Judit; Fazakas, Csilla; Haskó, János; Krizbai, István A. 2013. "Role of the Blood-Brain Barrier in the Formation of Brain Metastases." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 1: 1383-1411.