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The “Frail” Brain Blood Barrier in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Role of Early Disruption of Endothelial Cell-to-Cell Connections

IRC-FSH Department of Health Sciences, University “Magna Græcia” of Catanzaro, Campus Universitario di Germaneto, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
Department of Medicine, Chair of Cardiology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Rome, Italy
IRCCS San Raffaele, Via di Valcannuta 247, 00133 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2693;
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 10 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases)
The main neurovascular unit of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) consists of a cellular component, which includes endothelial cells, astrocytes, pericytes, microglia, neurons, and oligodendrocytes as well as a non-cellular component resulting from the extracellular matrix. The endothelial cells are the major vital components of the BBB able to preserve the brain homeostasis. These cells are situated along the demarcation line between the bloodstream and the brain. Therefore, an alteration or the progressive disruption of the endothelial layer may clearly impair the brain homeostasis. The proper functioning of the brain endothelial cells is generally ensured by two elements: (1) the presence of junction proteins and (2) the preservation of a specific polarity involving an apical-luminal and a basolateral-abluminal membrane. This review intends to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying BBB function and their changes occurring in early stages of neurodegenerative processes in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies aimed to counteract neurodegenerative disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain blood barrier; endothelial dysfunction; neurodegeneration brain blood barrier; endothelial dysfunction; neurodegeneration
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Maiuolo, J.; Gliozzi, M.; Musolino, V.; Scicchitano, M.; Carresi, C.; Scarano, F.; Bosco, F.; Nucera, S.; Ruga, S.; Zito, M.C.; Mollace, R.; Palma, E.; Fini, M.; Muscoli, C.; Mollace, V. The “Frail” Brain Blood Barrier in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Role of Early Disruption of Endothelial Cell-to-Cell Connections. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2693.

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