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Cell Tissue Res. 2009 Jun;336(3):385-92. doi: 10.1007/s00441-009-0777-y. Epub 2009 Apr 7.

Alteration of blood-brain barrier function by methamphetamine and cocaine.

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Inserm U575, 5 Rue B. Pascal, 67084, Strasbourg, France.


The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in maintaining a safe neural microenvironment in the brain. Loss of BBB integrity has been recognized as a major cause of profound brain alterations. Psychoactive drugs such as methamphetamine (METH) or cocaine are well-known drugs of abuse that can alter the permeability of the BBB via various mechanisms. In addition, the neurotoxicity of METH is well documented, and alterations in BBB function can contribute to this toxicity. A great deal of effort has been devoted to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the action of these drugs in the central nervous system. However, only a few investigations have focused on the effects of METH and cocaine on BBB function. The aim of this short review is to summarize our present knowledge of this subject.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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