Oct 1, 1978

Vascular permeability and neurotoxicity

Environmental Health Perspectives
J M Jacobs


Neurotoxic substances affect the nervous system in a selective manner. One possible basis for this selectivity is blood vessel permeability. In general, the central nervous system and the peripheral nerve trunks have impermeable blood vessels, but in certain parts the capillaries are "leaky," allowing the passage of a plasma filtrate. Intravenously injected protein tracers rapidly reach nerve cells in these regions, with the implication that these nerve cells are also readily accessible to circulating neurotoxic substances. Some examples of neurotoxicity in the central nervous system show a selectivity that could be due to capillary permeability. In experimental methylmercury poisoning, cranial nerve V and sensory dorsal root ganglia, which lie in regions of vascular permeability, are particularly susceptible. A number of drug and chemically induced neuropathies are predominantly sensory, and may be due, directly or indirectly, to the accessibility of neurotoxic substances to sensory neurons. Examination of areas of potential vulnerability to circulating toxic substances may be of value in the experimental testing of substances for neurotoxicity, where pharmacological tests may be negative and clinical symptoms difficult to ass...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Blood - Brain Barrier Anatomy
Central Nervous System
Capillary Permeability
Blood Vessel
Entire Nervous System
Nerve Degeneration
Vascular Permeability
Entire Central Nervous System

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