The blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been defined as a critically important protective barrier that is involved in providing essential biologic, physiologic, and immunologic separation between the central nervous system (CNS) and the periphery. Insults to the BBB can cause overall barrier damage or deregulation of the careful homeostasis maintained between the periphery and the CNS. These insults can, therefore, yield numerous phenotypes including increased overall permeability, interendothelial gap formation, alterations in cytokine and chemokine secretion, and accelerated cellular passage. The current studies expose the human brain microvascular endothelial cell line, hCMEC/D3, to prolonged morphine exposure and aim to uncover the mechanisms underlying alterations in barrier function in vitro. These studies show alterations in the mRNA and protein levels of the cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule that correlate with an increased firm adhesion of the CD3⁺ subpopulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Overall, these studies suggest that prolonged morphine exposure may result in increased cell migration into the CNS, which may accelerate pathological processes in many diseases that involve the BBB.
Strazza, Marianne; Pirrone, Vanessa; Wigdahl, Brian; Dampier, Will; Lin, Wei; Feng, Rui; Maubert, Monique E; Weksler, Babette; Romero, Ignacio A; Couraud, Pierre-Olivier; and Nonnemacher, Michael R, "Prolonged Morphine Exposure Induces Increased Firm Adhesion in an in Vitro Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier." (2016). Kimmel Cancer Center Papers, Presentations, and Grand Rounds. Paper 36.
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