Permeability Studies on In Vitro Blood–Brain Barrier Models: Physiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology
Previously we reported that the co-culture of non-brain vascular endothelial cells with glioma cells leads to the induction of a more differentiated endothelial cell phenotype which exhibits important properties of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Recognising the potential for improving the model barrier system with agents known to modify the growth and differentiation of cells in culture we examined the effects of four differentiating agents (butyric acid, dexamethasone, retinoic acid, and dimethyl sulfoxide) on barrier function. Of these agents only butyric acid and dexamethasone resulted in an enhancement (depending on the dose used) of transendothelial electrical resistance (barrier function). The greatest effect was observed with butyric acid in a dose-dependent manner and was slow in onset and only occurred in the endothelial/glial cell co-cultures. These data indicate that butyric acid may be a beneficial agent in optimising conditions necessary for induction of BBB properties in in vitro barrier systems.