Neurological diseases at the blood-brain barrier: Stemming new scientific paradigms using patient-derived induced pluripotent cells

Summary

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a component of the neurovascular unit formed by specialized brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) surrounded by a specific basement membrane interacting with astrocytes, neurons, and pericytes. The BBB plays an essential function in the maintenance of brain homeostasis, by providing a physical and chemical barrier against pathogens and xenobiotics. Although the disruption of the BBB occurs with several neurological disorders, the scarcity of patient material source and lack of reliability of current in vitro models hindered our ability to model the BBB during such neurological conditions. The development of novel in vitro models based on patient-derived stem cells opened new venues in modeling the human BBB in vitro, by being more accurate than existing in vitro models, but also bringing such models closer to the in vivo setting. In addition, patient-derived models of the BBB opens the avenue to address the contribution of genetic factors commonly associated with certain neurological diseases on the BBB pathophysiology. This review provides a comprehensive understanding of the BBB, the current development of stem cell-based models in the field, the current challenges and limitations of such models. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors Page S, Patel R, Raut S, Al-Ahmad A
Journal Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease
Publication Date 2018 Dec 26;
PubMed 30593893
DOI 10.1016/j.bbadis.2018.12.009

Research Projects

Cell Lines