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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2019 Feb 1;364:114-119. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2018.12.018. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

The interaction of zinc and the blood-brain barrier under physiological and ischemic conditions.

Author information

1
Cerebrovascular Diseases Research Institute, Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
2
Cerebrovascular Diseases Research Institute, Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, China; Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Electronic address: kliu@salud.unm.edu.

Abstract

Zinc is the second most abundant metal in human and serves as an essential trace element in the body. During the past decades, zinc has been found to play important roles in central nervous system, such as the development of neurons and synaptic activities. An imbalance of zinc is associated with brain diseases. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) maintains the homeostasis of the microenvironment, regulating the balance of zinc in the brain. A compromised BBB is the main cause of severe complications in cerebral ischemic patients, such as hemorrhage transformation, inflammation and edema. Recent studies reported that zinc in the brain may be a potential target for integrative protection against ischemic brain injury. Although zinc has long been regarded as important transmitters in central nervous system, the critical role of zinc dyshomeostasis in damage to the BBB has not been fully recognized. In this review, we summarize the role of the BBB in regulating homeostasis of zinc in physiological conditions and the effects of changes in zinc levels on the permeability of the BBB in cerebral ischemia. The integrity of BBB maintains the homeostasis of zinc in pathological conditions, while the balance of zinc in the brain and the circulation maintains the normal function of the BBB. Interrupting the zinc/BBB system will disturb the microenvironment in the brain, leading to pathological diseases. In stroke patients, zinc may serve as a potential target for protecting the BBB and reducing hemorrhage transformation, inflammation and edema.

KEYWORDS:

Blood-brain barrier; Endothelial cells; Ischemia; Zinc; Zinc transporter

PMID:
30594689
PMCID:
PMC6331270
[Available on 2020-02-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.taap.2018.12.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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