Blood-brain barrier Na transporters in ischemic stroke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Blood-brain barrier (BBB) endothelial cells form a barrier that is highly restrictive to passage of solutes between blood and brain. Many BBB transport mechanisms have been described that mediate transcellular movement of solutes across the barrier either into or out of the brain. One class of BBB transporters that is all too often overlooked is that of the ion transporters. The BBB has a rich array of ion transporters and channels that carry Na, K, Cl, HCO3, Ca, and other ions. Many of these are asymmetrically distributed between the luminal and abluminal membranes, giving BBB endothelial cells the ability to perform vectorial transport of ions across the barrier between blood and brain. In this manner, the BBB performs the important function of regulating the volume and composition of brain interstitial fluid. Through functional coupling of luminal and abluminal transporters and channels, the BBB carries Na, Cl, and other ions from blood into brain, producing up to 30% of brain interstitial fluid in healthy brain. During ischemic stroke cerebral edema forms by processes involving increased activity of BBB luminal Na transporters, resulting in "hypersecretion" of Na, Cl, and water into the brain interstitium. This review discusses the roles of luminal BBB Na transporters in edema formation in stroke, with an emphasis on Na-K-Cl cotransport and Na/H exchange. Evidence that these transporters provide effective therapeutic targets for reduction of edema in stroke is also discussed, as are recent findings regarding signaling pathways responsible for ischemia stimulation of the BBB Na transporters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-146
Number of pages34
JournalAdvances in Pharmacology
StatePublished - 2014


  • Brain microvascular
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Edema
  • Ion transporters
  • Na-K-Cl cotransporter
  • Na/H exchanger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Blood-brain barrier Na transporters in ischemic stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this