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Cholesterol as a modifying agent of the neurovascular unit structure and function under physiological and pathological conditions.

Cholesterol as a modifying agent of the neurovascular unit structure and function under physiological and pathological conditions.
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Czuba E, Steliga A, Lietzau G, Kowiański P,


Czuba E, Steliga A, Lietzau G, Kowiański P, (click to view)

Czuba E, Steliga A, Lietzau G, Kowiański P,

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Metabolic brain disease 2017 04 21() doi 10.1007/s11011-017-0015-3
Abstract

The brain, demanding constant level of cholesterol, precisely controls its synthesis and homeostasis. The brain cholesterol pool is almost completely separated from the rest of the body by the functional blood-brain barrier (BBB). Only a part of cholesterol pool can be exchanged with the blood circulation in the form of the oxysterol metabolites such, as 27-hydroxycholesterol (27-OHC) and 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-OHC). Not only neurons but also blood vessels and neuroglia, constituting neurovascular unit (NVU), are crucial for the brain cholesterol metabolism and undergo precise regulation by numerous modulators, metabolites and signal molecules. In physiological conditions maintaining the optimal cholesterol concentration is important for the energetic metabolism, composition of cell membranes and myelination. However, a growing body of evidence indicates the consequences of the cholesterol homeostasis dysregulation in several pathophysiological processes. There is a causal relationship between hypercholesterolemia and 1) development of type 2 diabetes due to long-term high-fat diet consumption, 2) significance of the oxidative stress consequences for cerebral amyloid angiopathy and neurodegenerative diseases, 3) insulin resistance on progression of the neurodegenerative brain diseases. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge concerning the cholesterol influence upon functioning of the NVU under physiological and pathological conditions.

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