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Brain Res. 2002 Nov 8;954(2):311-6.

Blood-brain barrier integrity is unaltered in human brain cortex with diabetes mellitus.

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Ocular Angiogenesis Group, Department of Ophthalmology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Diabetes-related cognitive dysfunction has been recognized for many years in humans, but the pathogenesis of this condition is poorly understood. Evidence from animal studies suggests that altered function of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) could be a potential cause contributing to this disease. This study aimed to investigate whether the permeability of the BBB is affected in the brains of persons with diabetes mellitus (DM). On postmortem prefrontal and temporal cortex of diabetic patients and controls, immunohistochemical stainings were carried out using specific antibodies against three proteins (PAL-E, IgG and albumin), which are considered as markers for the vascular permeability status of the BBB. Rare or no PAL-E staining was found in the capillaries of the prefrontal and temporal cortex parenchyma, in both DM and control materials. IgG and albumin were localized in and directly around blood vessel walls in the prefrontal and temporal cortex. No obvious differences in the staining pattern of IgG and albumin were observed between brain samples of persons with DM and controls. This study suggests that the BBB in diabetic patients is well maintained.

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