From the viewpoint of drug discovery, it is an important issue to elucidate the drug permeability at the human central nervous system (CNS) barriers and the molecular mechanisms in the cells forming CNS barriers especially during CNS diseases. I introduced quantitative proteomics techniques into the blood-brain barrier (BBB) study, then quantitatively investigated the transport system at the human BBB and clarified the quantitative differences in protein expression levels and functions of transporters and receptors between animals and humans, or in vitro and in vivo. Based on the difference in the absolute expression level of transporters between in vitro and in vivo, I demonstrated that the drug efflux activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) at in vivo BBB can be accurately reconstructed from the in vitro system, not only in mouse models but also monkeys similar to humans and pathological conditions. Furthermore, I discovered Claudin-11 as another tight junction molecule expressed at the CNS barriers, and clarified that it contributes to the disruption of the CNS barriers in multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, it was also elucidated that the P-gp dysfunction causes excessive brain entry of glucocorticoid which causes a nerve damage in cerebral infarct, and it can be suppressed by targeting Abl/Src kinases. These suggest that targeting the tight junctions and transporters, which are important molecules at the CNS barriers, would potentially lead to the treatment of CNS diseases. In this review, I would like to introduce a new CNS barrier study opened by quantitative proteomics research.
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