Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

The guarded brain. The role of P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier in major psychiatric disorders and antidepressant treatment

21 December 2011

PhD ceremony: Mr. O.L. de Klerk, 16.15 uur, Aula Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: The guarded brain. The role of P-glycoprotein at the blood-brain barrier in major psychiatric disorders and antidepressant treatment

Promotor(s): prof. J.A. den Boer, prof. R.A.I.O. Dierckx

Faculty: Medical Sciences

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly specialized selective barrier that protects the nervous system by limiting the entrance of nearly all substances, while at the same time guaranteeing that the high metabolic needs of the brain are optimally met. To accomplish this task, the capillaries have different transport systems on their surface. In regard to brain protection P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a major efflux pump located in the capillary wall. It is capable of extruding a wide range of structurally different molecules that have gained access to the endothelial cell. In vitro studies have shown that P-gp has a major impact on the transport of inflammatory proteins and cortisol, substances that are connected to depressive disorders and other major psychiatric illnesses. Moreover, the majority of antidepressants and antipsychotics are influenced by the activity of P-gp. In this thesis we performed PET studies with verapamil and showed changed activity of cerebral P-gp in major psychiatric disorders as well as during chronic antidepressant use. We also demonstrated that variants of the encoding gene (ABCB1) for P-gp influences the occurrence of side effects on SSRIs (that are substrates of P-gp) and may be related to susceptibility for depression. Taken together, P-glycoprotein may play a role (as susceptibility factor) in major depressive disorder and it may be a relevant pharmacokinetic factor in psychiatric drug therapy.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.41 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 20 May 2019

    Forthcoming honorary doctor Titia de Lange: Splicing ropes and aging

    Titia de Lange has dedicated most of her working life to researching long telomeres – the ends of chromosomes. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in June for her ground-breaking research. De Lange’s first experiment as a PhD student, under the supervision...

  • 15 May 2019

    Academy Medal for Trudy Dehue

    Trudy Dehue, scientific sociologist, author and emeritus professor of the University of Groningen, will receive the Academy Medal from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). The Academy Medal is awarded every other year to individuals...

  • 15 May 2019

    Van Rijn advice hits UG hard

    The advice from the Van Rijn committee concerning the funding of higher education has heavy consequences for the UG as a broad-based classical university. The proposed redistribution of funds in favour of technical sciences is at the expense of degree...