Blood-brain barrier may be crossable
Mayo Clinic researchers in Rochester have succeeded in a mouse model in getting a "synthetic peptide carrier" they developed to cross the blood-brain barrier.
"The blood-brain barrier is meant to protect the brain from numerous undesirable chemicals circulating in the body, but it also obstructs access for treatment of brain tumors and other conditions," says a Mayo description of the study.
Clinic researchers succeeded in getting eight different molecules to cross the blood-brain barrier in mice, and they "think this method will be less disruptive or invasive because it mimics a normal physiological process."
If they can develop the process so that it can be used in humans, it will open new doors to brain-tumor treatment.
The researchers previously delivered antibodies against amyloid plaques in the same way in mouse models, raising the prospect for using the process to fight Alzheimer's disease.
It's been shown that some chemicals will kill brain tumor cells in laboratory tests outside the body. But it's not been possible to use them because it hasn't been possible in humans to get the chemicals across the blood-brain barrier.
Research findings in animal models do not always translate into effective human therapies. But researchers plan to study effectiveness and potential adverse effects before the concept can be tested in humans.