COVID-19-associated blood plasma inflammatory factors do not affect blood-brain barrier, study shows

It is now well documented that the coronavirus outbreak triggered a global health crisis. In this study, researchers wanted to know whether blood-brain barrier impairment contributed to the development of neurological problems during COVID-19 progression, and to what extent. The blood-brain barrier is a filtering mechanism of the capillaries that carry blood to the brain and spinal cord tissue while blocking the passage of certain toxic substances. The findings demonstrate that "COVID-19-associated blood plasma inflammatory factors do not affect blood-brain barrier paracellular pathway directly," the researchers wrote. In addition, the results suggest "pathological remodeling, if any, of the blood-brain barrier during COVID-19 may occur through indirect or yet unknown mechanisms." The study is published in the journal Function.

"Accumulating evidence indicates that cerebral vascular dysfunction is a common feature of COVID-19," the research team wrote. "Therefore, it is important to understand the intricate connections between blood cytokine/chemokine profiles, blood-brain barrier integrity and the severity of neurological manifestations of COVID-19."

Source:
Journal reference:

Pociūtė, A., et al. (2024). Plasma of COVID-19 Patients Does Not Alter Electrical Resistance of Human Endothelial Blood-Brain Barrier In Vitro. Function. doi.org/10.1093/function/zqae002.

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