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Int J Neurosci. 2006 Jan;116(1):25-38.

Evidence for ascorbic acid transport system in rat brain capillaries.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. ziziylan@yahoo.com


Although ascorbic acid (AA) crosses the choroid plexus and may enter the brain at an appreciable rate, it is not clearly established that there exist transport system(s) carrying this vitamin from blood into the brain cells across the brain capillaries. Thus the rate of its uptake by choroid plexus and cerebral capillaries were evaluated in vitro in this study. Choroid plexus and brain capillaries were isolated from two-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats. Time course of AA incorporation in micro vessels and choroid plexus was studied up to 30 min. After stopping the incorporation with the excess of cold isotonic saline, micro vessels were filtered and sonicated. The intracellular incorporated AA radioactivity was measured by liquid scintillation counting. AA uptake by micro vessel was tested for Na+-dependence and saturability. The time course studies showed linear increase in total uptake and accumulation of AA by choroid plexus and endothelial cells up to 30 min. Treatment with oubain or replacement with sodium chloride showed that uptake is an Na+- independent process. Transport of AA to cerebrospinal fluid and brain was also shown to be readily saturated by increasing the level of cold AA. These results document that the brain capillary endothelial cells are able to transport and accumulate AA, and may have a critical role in the homeostasis and regulation of cerebral ascorbic acid concentration.

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