The effects of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Blood- Brain Barrier

The effects of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Blood- Brain Barrier 

Lihong Deng and Shao Liu*

Zhongshan Asia Pacific Hospital, 3 Nanjiang Road, Zhongshan, Guangdong, China

Review method: Single-blind; Peer reviewer comments: 1.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB), which can open under both physiology and pathophysiology, is an important diffusion barrier to brain. It can block many componds from blood and protect the brain. BBB is mainly built by cerebral endothelium, tight junctions, adherens junctions, astrocytes, and pericytes and extracellular matrix. Each element plays specific roles to protect the brain. Currently, one of the limitations to treat CNS diseases is that most drugs can not pass through the BBB and can not directly affect the focus of infection. So drugs which could help BBB open would help us to treat CNS diseases. Chinese herbal medicine has been wildly used in China to treat all kinds of diseases, and some of them, like Borneol, Acorus tatarinowii Schott, Moschus, Storax and Benzoin, has notably dual effects on the permeability of the BBB. They can both reduce and increase the the permeability of the BBB. More studies on the effects on Chinese herbal medicine’s effects on BBB may help us out of the limitation that brain drugs can not pass through the BBB.

Keywords: blood-brain barrier, Chinese herbal medicine, Borneol, Acorus tatarinowii Schott, Moschus, Storax, Benzoin

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