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Int Rev Neurobiol. 2012;102:91-106. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386986-9.00004-1.

Neurovascular aspects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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1
Center of Excellence for Aging & Brain Repair, University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease with a complicated and poorly understood pathogenesis. Strong evidence indicates impairment of all neurovascular unit components including the blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers (BBB/BSCB) in both patients and animal models. The present review provides an updated analysis of the microvascular pathology and impaired BBB/BSCB in ALS. Based on experimental and clinical ALS studies, the roles of cellular components, cell interactions, tight junctions, transport systems, cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases, and free radicals in the BBB/BSCB disruption are discussed. The impact of BBB/BSCB damage in ALS pathogenesis is a novel research topic, and this review will reveal some aspects of microvascular pathology involved in the disease and hopefully engender new therapeutic approaches.

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