Blood-spinal Cord Barrier Compromised In Mice With ALS


ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2007) — The blood-spinal cord barrier is functionally impaired in areas of motor neuron damage in mice modeling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), report researchers at the University of South Florida Center for Aging and Brain Repair. The barrier disruption was found in mice at both early and late stages of ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) control the exchange of substances between the blood and the central nervous system. These barriers, formed by cells lining the blood vessels in the brain and the spinal cord, protect nerve cells by restricting entry of potentially harmful substances and cells of the immune system. Impairment in cellular machinery of the BBB and BSCB may lead to a barrier breakdown in many brain and spinal cord diseases or injuries.

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