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Key DiscoveryThe role of blood vessels in protecting the brain during inflammation

Feb 22, 2019

Podocalyxin is a protein that is normally expressed in blood vessels, and is particularly highly expressed in the blood vessels of the brain. In this study published in the Proceedings of the National Academcy of Sciences, HLI researcher Dr. Kelly McNagny and his team discovered the important role of podocalyxin in maintaining the integrity of the blood brain barrier during acute inflammation.

These results are significant as the blood brain barrier is tightly regulated, separating the brain from circulating blood. A healthy blood brain barrier is essential for maintaining normal brain function. Disruption of this barrier can promote the damage of brain tissue during infections and neurological
diseases, such as stroke, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, understanding how the blood brain barrier is regulated will not only provide important insights into these neurological diseases, but may also allow researchers to effectively deliver therapeutics to the brain.

Read the full paper here.

Aso featured in UBC News.