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Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2003;43:629-56. Epub 2002 Jan 10.

The role of drug transporters at the blood-brain barrier.

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Blood-Brain Barrier Research Group, Division of Pharmacology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a dynamic interface between the blood and the brain. It eliminates (toxic) substances from the endothelial compartment and supplies the brain with nutrients and other (endogenous) compounds. It can be considered as an organ protecting the brain and regulating its homeostasis. Until now, many transport systems have been discovered that play an important role in maintaining BBB integrity and brain homeostasis. In this review, we focus on the role of carrier- and receptor-mediated transport systems (CMT, RMT) at the BBB. These include CMT systems, such as P-glycoprotein, multidrug-resistance proteins 1-7, nucleoside transporters, organic anion transporters, and large amino-acid transporters; RMT systems, such as the transferrin-1 and -2 receptors; and the scavenger receptors SB-AI and SB-BI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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