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Hello. My name is Dr. Thomas P. Davis,
I'm a professor of medical pharmacology at
the University of Arizona Medical School in Tucson, Arizona.
The title of this presentation is The Blood Brain Barrier in Health and Disease.
I'd like to first give
some historical background to blood brain barrier research which started in
1885 with Paul Ehrlich's notation that analine dyes injected
intravenously stained all organs
except the brain and spinal cord as shown in the figure below.
Paul Ehrlich attributed this to an inability of the nervous tissue to take up the dye.
It was in 1900 that Lewandowsky coined the term Bluthirnschranke or
blood-brain-cabinet while studying the penetration
of potassium ferrocyanide into the brain.
It wasn't until 1913, an Ehrlich student,
Edwin Goldman injected water soluble dyes directly into the central nervous system and
showed the classic blood brain barrier separation
between the central nervous system and the rest of the organism.
The question that often comes up
when individuals want to study the blood brain barrier is why?
What is unique about the blood brain barrier as compared to other barriers in the body?
Well, the first thing that's unique is that the blood brain barrier
provides a problem for drug delivery to the central nervous system.
This has been a serious issue for thousands of years.
The role of the blood brain barrier in a pathophysiology of
central nervous system disease states continues to the present time.
We now know that the brain is no longer immune
privileged and that substances can enter and leave the brain.
However, to get past the blood brain barrier
with a drug or therapeutic has been a serious challenge.
Therefore, understanding the anatomy and cell biology of the Neurovascular unit,
which we now describe the blood brain barrier as part of,
in health and disease is critical for the advancement of
translational research into the clinic.