Week_11_-_Protection_against_neurotoxici

Week_11_-_Protection_against_neurotoxici - Week 11...

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Week 11 - Protection against neurotoxicity The brain is a sensitive target for toxicants because 1) it is critically important for maintaining physiological operation of the body, and 2) it is very active metabolically, making it highly sensitive to toxicants that interfere with energy metabolism. In the central nervous system, the primary defense mechanism is the blood-brain barrier . For a toxicant in the bloodstream to cause damage to the brain, it must first cross what is known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB consists of a protective layer of endothelial cells that encapsulate the capillaries in the brain. The endothelial cells form tight junctions between the cells, which prevents the diffusion of blood-borne molecules into the nervous system. The endothelial cells are surrounded by astrocytes, which provide an additional layer of protection against foreign molecules entering the brain. Notice Figure (a) on the left (below), which shows astrocytes wrapping around capillaries
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2012 for the course PHY 495 taught by Professor Hess during the Summer '11 term at Alabama.

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Week_11_-_Protection_against_neurotoxici - Week 11...

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