Brain barriers and functional interfaces with sequential appearance of ABC efflux transporters during human development

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Adult brain is protected from entry of drugs and toxins by specific mechanisms such as ABC (ATP-binding Cassette) efflux transporters. Little is known when these appear in human brain during development. Cellular distribution of three main ABC transporters (ABCC1, ABCG2, ABCB1) was determined at blood-brain barriers and interfaces in human embryos and fetuses in first half of gestation. Antibodies against claudin-5 and-11 and antibodies to α-fetoprotein were used to describe morphological and functional aspects of brain barriers. First exchange interfaces to be established, probably at 4-5 weeks post conception, are between brain and embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (eCSF) and between outer surface of brain anlage and primary meninx. They already exclude α-fetoprotein and are immunopositive for both claudins, ABCC1 and ABCG2. ABCB1 is detectable within a week of blood vessels first penetrating into brain parenchyma (6-7 weeks post conception). ABCC1, ABCB1 and ABCG2 are present at blood-CSF barrier in all choroid plexuses from first appearance (7 weeks post conception). Outer CSF-brain interfaces are established between 9-11 weeks post conception exhibiting immunoreactivity for all three transporters. Results provide evidence for sequential establishment of brain exchange interfaces and spatial and temporal timetable for three main ABC transporters in early human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11603
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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