The role of non-endothelial cells on the penetration of nanoparticles through the blood brain barrier

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Abstract

The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a well-established cell-based membrane that circumvents the central nervous system (CNS), protecting it from harmful substances. Due to its robustness and cell integrity, it is also an outstanding opponent when it comes to the delivery of several therapeutic agents to the brain, which requires the crossing through its highly-organized structure. This regulation and cell-cell communications occur mostly between astrocytes, pericytes and endothelial cells. Therefore, alternative ways to deliver drugs to the CNS, overcoming the BBB are required, to improve the efficacy of brain target drugs. Nanoparticles emerge here as a promising drug delivery strategy, due to their ability of high drug loading and the capability to exploit specific delivery pathways that most drugs are unable to when administered freely, increasing their bioavailability in the CNS. Thus, further attempts to assess the possible influence of non-endothelial may have on the BBB translocation of nanoparticles are here revised. Furthermore, the use of macrophages and/or monocytes as nanoparticle delivery cells are also approached. Lastly, the temporarily disruption of the overall organization and normal structure of the BBB to promote the penetration of nanoparticles aimed at the CNS is described, as a synergistic path.

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