IMAGE: Scientists from Japan and the United States have identified a new mechanism of blood-brain barrier degradation in the post-stroke brain, involving acrolein-induced modifications of proheparanase. This discovery could lead to… view more
Credit: Toubibe from Pixabay
Strokes are a leading cause of poor quality of life or even death in Japan and the world over. Since its characterization, several researchers have been working tooth and nail to identify drug-accessible and effective therapeutic targets for this debilitating condition. One such region of interest for drug targets is the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
The BBB is a structure located around the brain, which prevents the entry of unnecessary circulating cells and biomolecules into the brain. The blood vessels in the BBB are coated with a distinct and protective layer of sugar, called the endothelial glycocalyx, which prevents their entry. However, in the event of a stroke, which results in the blockage or severance of blood vessels in the brain, studies have shown that this glycocalyx and, in turn, the integrity of the BBB, get compromised. In addition, damage to the blood vessels leads to neuronal death and the build-up of toxic byproducts like acrolein.
A group of researchers from Japan and
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