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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 9 - Magnesium in edema and blood-brain barrier disruption

from Section 2 - Magnesium in Neurological Diseases


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is constituted primarily of brain capillary endothelial cells and is a prerequisite for the maintenance of brain homeostasis that is essential for optimal brain function. However, a variety of pathological conditions, such as sepsis, multiple sclerosis and epilepsia disrupt the BBB integrity and lead to the development of brain edema. lonized magnesium (Mg2+) is a crucial cofactor that plays an essential role within the cell and regulates a variety of biochemical reactions. Changes in intra- and extracellular Mg2+ concentrations influence the functions of cells and tissues. A growing body of evidence suggests that Mg2+ plays a pivotal role in ameliorating BBB disruption via a number of mechanisms during certain neurological diseases. Systemic delivery of Mg2+ may constitute an alternative approach in the future, both to improve BBB integrity and to decrease brain edema in the course of a variety of diseases involving brain tissue.


Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is composed mainly of brain capillary endothelial cells and represents a dynamic structure that regulates the trafficking of molecules between blood and brain tissue. The passage of many circulating substances from the capillary bed into the brain parenchyma is tightly controlled by physical and enzymatic barriers provided by the endothelial cells of capillaries in the brain parenchyma (Abbott et al, 2010; Cardoso et al, 2010).

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Magnesium in the Central Nervous System
  • Online ISBN: 9780987073051
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