Week_11_-_Protection_against_neurotoxici - Week 11...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
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
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/10/2012 for the course PHY 495 taught by Professor Hess during the Summer '11 term at Alabama.

Page1 / 2

Week_11_-_Protection_against_neurotoxici - Week 11...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online