IMR Press / FBL / Volume 12 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/2174

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone and the blood-brain-barrier
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1 Departments of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Internal Medicine, Biochemistry and Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts-New England Medical Center, 136 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02111, USA
2 Protypo Neurology Center, 79 Egnatias Street, Thessaloniki, 54635, Greece
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2007, 12(5), 1615–1628;
Published: 1 January 2007

Increased blood-brain-barrier (BBB) permeability precedes any clinical or pathologic signs and is critical in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and brain metastases. CD4+ TH1 cells mediate demyelination in MS, but how they get sensitized and enter the brain to induce brain inflammation remains obscure. TH2 cytokines associated with allergic disorders have recently been implicated in MS, while genes upregulated in MS plaques include the mast cell-specific tryptase, the IgE receptor (Fc-epsilon-RI) and the histamine-1 receptor. Mast cell specific tryptase is elevated in the CSF of MS patients, induces microvascular leakage and stimulates protease-activated receptors (PAR), leading to widespread inflammation. BBB permeability, MS and brain metastases appear to worsen in response to acute stress that leads to the local release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which activates brain mast cells to selectively release IL-6, IL-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Acute stress increases BBB permeability that is dependent on CRH and mast cells. Acute stress shortens the time of onset of experimental alleric encephalomyelitis (EAE) that does not develop in W/W mast cell deficient or CRH -/- mice. Brain mast cell inhibition and CRHR antagonists offer novel therapeutic possibilities.

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