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blood-brain barrier

[bluhd-breyn] /ˈblʌdˈbreɪn/
noun, Physiology
1.
a layer of tightly packed cells that make up the walls of brain capillaries and prevent substances in the blood from diffusing freely into the brain: passage across the cell membranes is determined by solubility in the lipid bilayer or recognition by a transport molecule.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for blood-brain barrier
  • It crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes dopamine levels in the brain to rise.
  • Once an infection gets in there, it's much harder to treat, because some antibiotics can't cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Smaller particles apparently circulate for much longer and in some cases can cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Melatonin does not require any carriers or transporters to cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • The undigested gluten leaks thru tiny pits in the abdomen, get into the bloodstream and apparently cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • The blood-brain barrier blocks many drugs on which doctors might otherwise rely.
  • Unfortunately, they are limited to the central nervous system, and do not cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • One of biology's great mysteries is the blood-brain barrier, which lines blood vessels in the brain.
  • Oxytocin, produced by the pituitary, does cross the blood-brain barrier and is released through stimulation of lactation.
  • Once bonded, the antibodies make the cocaine molecules too large to slip through the tight blood-brain barrier.
blood-brain barrier in Medicine

blood-brain barrier n.
Abbr. BBB
A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of brain capillaries so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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blood-brain barrier in Science
blood-brain barrier  
A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of capillaries in the brain, so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
blood-brain barrier in Culture

blood-brain barrier definition


The separation of the brain, which is bathed in a clear cerebrospinal fluid, from the bloodstream. The cells near the capillary beds external to the brain selectively filter the molecules that are allowed to enter the brain, creating a more stable, nearly pathogen-free environment.

Note: Oxygen, glucose, and white blood cells are molecules that are able to pass through this barrier. Red blood cells cannot.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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