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Assessment of the permeability of physiological membranes: A. A  study of Stichodactyla helianthus toxin’s  potential to penetrate the buccal mucosa and -         B. An investigation of the permeability alterations in the blood brain barrier associated with Alzheimer’s disease
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A. A study of Stichodactyla helianthus toxin’s potential to penetrate the buccal mucosa

Introduction:  Buccal mucosa is an alternative route for drug administration and has advantages over other conventional routes by avoiding both enzymes in the gastro intestinal system and the hepatic first passage mechanism. Stichodactyla helianthus toxin (ShK) is a peptide toxin that blocks potassium channels in T lymphocytes and could be a future treatment for autoimmune diseases when finding a suitable way of administration.

Aim:  The purpose of this part of the study was to develop a robust and reproducible assay for identification and quantification of ShK. The method was then employed for a proof of principle study; determining the concentration of ShK following an in vitro permeability experiment, to evaluate the potential of ShK penetrating the buccal mucosa in porcine tissue.

 Materials and Methods:  An HPLC method was developed and validated. A piece of porcine buccal mucosa was used as a membrane because of its similarities with human buccal mucosa, and cinched in between a modified Ussing Chamber consisting of a donor and a receptor chamber. Samples were withdrawn from the receptor chamber to determine the amount of ShK that had penetrated the membrane.

Results: The HPLC method developed for quantification of ShK demonstrated high accuracy and precision. No concentrations of ShK were able to be quantified from the receptor chambers.

Conclusions:  A robust assay for quantification of ShK was developed but the results from the experiment indicated that ShK could not penetrate the buccal mucosa membrane.

B. An investigation of the permeability alterations in the blood-brain barrier associated with Alzheimer’s disease


Introduction:  The blood brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from potential dangerous substances by different barrier properties such as tight junctions and efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein. Previous studies have showed that the barrier functions may be altered in Alzheimer’s disease and thereby increase the exposure to substances that are normally excluded from the brain parenchyma. This could be an issue regarding safety and toxicity of medications used among Alzheimer patients.

Aim:  The aim of this part of the study was to investigate the difference in brain uptake of verapamil, digoxin, loperamide, propanolol, diazepam and sucrose between 3xTg-AD mice and wild type control mice.

Materials and Methods: Female 3xTg-AD mice and control mice of the age 11.5-13.5 months were used. In Situ brain perfusion with radiolabeled substances (n=5-12) was performed and the brain uptake ratio of the substances was compared and statistically analyzed.

 Results: No difference in the vascular volume was found when comparing 3xTg-AD with control mice. The ratio of diazepam was observed to be higher in the cortex and propranolol higher in the hippocampus, of 3xTg-AD mice. The uptake ratio of verapamil was higher in both the hippocampus and cortex of 3xTg-AD mice whereas digoxin appeared to be lower in the cortex of 3xTg-AD mice. There was no difference in uptake ratio of loperamide between 3xTg-AD and control mice.

Conclusions:  This study in addition to previously executed studies in our laboratory, showed that the membrane thickness is age dependent in 3xTg-AD and that further studies needs to be conducted on the expression of P-glycoprotein in the BBB in 3xTg-AD and control mice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
ShK, buccal mucosa, alzheimer's disease, blood-brain barrier, In situ, ussing chamber, transport over membranes, assessment of the permeability of physiological membranes
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167399OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167399DiVA: diva2:484390
Subject / course
Educational program
Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy
Available from: 2012-04-26 Created: 2012-01-26 Last updated: 2012-11-19Bibliographically approved

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