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Neurol Res. 2004 Dec;26(8):846-53.

The cerebral vasculature as a therapeutic target for neurological disorders and the role of shear stress in vascular homeostatis and pathophysiology.

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1
Cerebrovascular Research Center, Neurosurgery NB-20, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. bengezl@ccf.org

Abstract

It is widely accepted that vascular mechanisms are involved in the genesis of many neurological disorders. In particular, blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction has been related to the severity of Alzheimer's disease, encephalopathy due to meningitis, multiple sclerosis, HIV-associated encephalopathy, epilepsy, gliomas and metastatic brain tumors. The BBB may constitute an important therapeutic target to protect neurons after CNS diseases. Both in vivo and in vitro, the functional phenotype of vascular endothelium is dynamically responsive to circulating cytokines, growth factors and puslatile blood flow (shear stress). Shear stress can play a critical role in vascular homeostasis and pathophysiology; it is a major regulator of remodeling in developed blood vessels and in blood vessels affected by atherosclerotic lesions. The physiological fluid mechanic stimulus, shear stress, could be considered to be an important 'differentiative' stimulus capable of modulating endothelial phenotype in vivo. Endothelial cells undergo cell cycle arrest after exposure to physiological levels of shear stress. As for mature endothelial cells, in which flow mediated shear stress may play a role in the induction, progression and/or prevention of atherosclerosis by changing their function, stress may play a role in endothelial cell differentiation from hemopoietic stem cells and/or from embryonic stem cells. Stem cells may be used to repair vascular damage, including loss of EC, due to a variety of diseases (e.g. myocardial neovascularization by adult bone marrow derived angioblasts). In the brain, it was proposed that neuron-producing stem cells may be used to treat Alzheimer's disease, paralysis, etc. Surprisingly, very few investigators are exploring the use of endothelial precursors to revert or prevent cerebrovascular disease. This review summarizes the most recent data related to cerebral vasculature as a therapeutic target for neurological disorders and the role of shear stress in blood-brain barrier homeostasis and pathophysiology.

PMID:
15727268
DOI:
10.1179/016164104X3789
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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