Blood-brain barrier disruption by neurotoxins | 50878
Journal of Clinical Toxicology

Journal of Clinical Toxicology
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0495

+44 1478 350008

Blood-brain barrier disruption by neurotoxins

International Toxicology Summit & Expo

November 26-28, 2012 Hilton San Antonio Airport, USA

Maria Alexandra Brito, Ines Palmela, Filipa Cardoso and Dora Brites

Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Clinic Toxicol

Abstract :

B acterial meningitis is an important cause of mortality and morbidity throughout the world, especially in the neonatal period. Jaundice is another common condition, affecting up to 85% of newborn infants, particularly prematures. Although usually benign, jaundice may lead to kernicterus, a neurological disease that may culminate in death. The access of pathogens and neurotoxins to brain is shielded by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a complex and dynamic structure. The anatomic basis of the BBB is formed by brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC), which have distinct and unique features that guarantee brain homeostasis. Despite the importance of the BBB in brain protection, it is still unclear the alterations occurring at this interface between the blood and brain in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases and kernicterus. In this talk, it will be presented evidence of disruption of the endothelial lining of the BBB in experimental conditions of sepsis and jaundice, based on analysis of rat and human BMEC exposed to lipopolysaccharide, a Gram negative bacterial endotoxin widely used to mimic sepsis, and of unconjugated bilirubin, the end-product of heme metabolism responsible for jaundice. It will be highlighted the impairment of intercellular junctions and caveolae enhancement that contribute to increased permeability and decreased transendothelial resistance, together with vesicles release and BMEC detachment and death. Alterations throughout brain parenchyma in disease conditions will also be shown, demonstrating the link between BBB disruption and neurodegeneration. Evidence provided highlights the importance of the BBB as a player in neurotoxicity studies

Biography :

Maria Alexandra Brito has completed her PhD in 2001 and the Habilitation degree in 2012, at the University of Lisbon. Presently, she is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon and a researcher at the Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences (iMed.UL). Within the Neuron Glia Biology in Health and Disease Unit, she leads the Neurovascular Unit Lab focused on the blood-brain barrier properties, disruption and modulation. She has published 45 papers in international scientific journals with peer review, 7 book chapters and more than 170 abstracts, corresponding to an h index of 19.