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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Aug 2023 - 1 Sep 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Apr

Adv Ther (Weinh)




Drug Permeability: From the Blood-Brain Barrier to the Peripheral Nerve Barriers.


Sun Y, Zabihi M, Li Q, Li X, Kim BJ, Ubogu EE, Raja SN, Wesselmann U, Zhao C


Drug delivery into the peripheral nerves and nerve roots has important implications for effective local anesthesia and treatment of peripheral neuropathies and chronic neuropathic pain. Similar to drugs that need to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) to gain access to the central nervous system (CNS), drugs must cross the peripheral nerve barriers (PNB), formed by the perineurium and blood-nerve barrier (BNB) to modulate peripheral axons. Despite significant progress made to develop effective strategies to enhance BBB permeability in therapeutic drug design, efforts to enhance drug permeability and retention in peripheral nerves and nerve roots are relatively understudied. Guided by knowledge describing structural, molecular and functional similarities between restrictive neural barriers in the CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS), we hypothesize that certain CNS drug delivery strategies are adaptable for peripheral nerve drug delivery. In this review, we describe the molecular, structural and functional similarities and differences between the BBB and PNB, summarize and compare existing CNS and peripheral nerve drug delivery strategies, and discuss the potential application of selected CNS delivery strategies to improve efficacious drug entry for peripheral nerve disorders.