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Reprod Nutr Dev. 1989;29(6):689-702.

[Transport processes through the blood-brain barrier].

[Article in French]

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INSERM U 26, hôpital Fernand Widal, Paris, France.


The existence of the blood-brain barrier is due to tight junctions between endothelial cells preventing the passage of liquid and solute material at the capillary level. Substances can thus pass across the blood-brain barrier if they are lipophilic or if they have transport systems in the membranes of endothelial cells. The luminal membrane brings metabolites needed for the brain function, the abluminal one plays an important part in removing substances from brain, this can happen against a concentration gradient and thus needs energy. Ions are transported differently by the 2 membranes. Sodium and chloride have carriers and potassium is transported very actively by the sodium-potassium ATPase of the abluminal membrane. Blood-brain glucose influx is very important and happens by carrier transport at the 2 membranes. Efflux seems to use the same transport system as the influx. Transport of ketone bodies seems to happen only from blood to brain, the carriers being reversibly used for brain-blood transport of pyruvic and lactic acid. Amino-acid transport is very different on the luminal and abluminal membranes. On the luminal membrane there are 2 transport systems, one for basic amino acids, the other one, the L system, for neutral amino-acids. All neutral amino-acids are transported through the abluminal membrane by the L, A and ASC systems. There exists a system of transport for basic amino-acids, and a very active one for acid amino-acids. Some systems for the transport of hormones, vitamins and for some peptides exist also at the blood-brain barrier which thus plays a very important role in the regulation of brain metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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