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Microsc Res Tech. 2001 Jan 1;52(1):83-8.

Brain drug delivery, drug metabolism, and multidrug resistance at the choroid plexus.

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INSERM U433, Faculté de Médecine Laennec, 69008 Lyon, France.


The choroid plexuses (CPs) have the capability to modulate drug delivery to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and to participate in the overall cerebral biodisposition of drugs. The specific morphological properties of the choroidal epithelium and the existence of a CSF pathway for drug distribution to different targets in the central nervous system suggest that the CP-CSF route is more significant than previously thought for brain drug delivery. In contrast to its role in CSF penetration of drugs, CP is also involved in brain protection in that it has the capacity to clear the CSF from numerous potentially harmful CSF-borne exogenous and endogenous organic compounds into the blood. Furthermore, CP harbors a large panel of drug-metabolizing enzymes as well as transport proteins of the multidrug resistance phenotype, which modulate the cerebral bioavailability of drugs and toxins. The use of an in vitro model of the choroidal epithelium suitable for drug transport studies has allowed the demonstration of the choroidal epithelium acting as an effective metabolic blood-CSF barrier toward some xenobiotics, and that a vectorial, blood-facing efflux of conjugated metabolites occurs at the choroidal epithelium. This efflux involves a specific transporter with characteristics similar to those of the multidrug resistance associated protein (MRP) family members. Indeed, at least one member, MRP1, is largely expressed at the CP epithelium, and localizes at the basolateral membrane. These metabolic and transport features of the choroidal epithelium point out the CP as a major detoxification site within the brain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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