A striking challenge in diagnosis and therapy of neurodegenerative diseases is the design of drugs capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a tightly regulated barrier that prevents the passage of drugs from the blood to the brain. In vitro cellular BBB models are available, but they mimic only healthy conditions without taking into account the BBB alterations associated with neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimers disease (AD). This project aims to develop and characterize a complex in vitro model of the BBB in AD condi- tions, built up with different cellular types combined with organotypic brain slices or neuronal cul- tures. This newly designed in vitro model will be realized thanks to the expertise and the multi- disciplinarity of the consortium in genetic engineering, physiology, neurobiology, neuroanatomy and biochemistry. The expected results will provide an innovative tool to i) obtain new infor- mation on the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of AD; ii) conduct more advanced early drug development and pre-clinical studies; and iii) devise new diagnostic or therapeutic strategies.
Project partnersUniversity of Milano-Bicocca
Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Charite Universitätsmedizin Berlin
VU University Medical Center