2

According to some studies[1], there is some evidence that the virus could cross the BBB. Is that is the case, does that mean that it would weaken the barrier allowing potentially neurotoxic drugs to enter the brain. Could this happen for example if the virus downregulates p-glycoprotein which prevents the uptake of drugs?

An example of this concern is with the drug ivermectin which has gained some recent notoriety as a possible prophylactic and treatment of the infection. There is some evidence for the neurotoxicity of this drug in dogs.[2]

[1] Rhea, E. M., Logsdon, A. F., Hansen, K. M., Williams, L. M., Reed, M. J., Baumann, K. K., ... & Erickson, M. A. (2021). The S1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 crosses the blood–brain barrier in mice. Nature neuroscience, 24(3), 368-378. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-020-00771-8 [Open Access]

[2] Merola, V. A., Khan, S., & Gwaltney-Brant, S. (2009). Ivermectin toxicosis in dogs: a retrospective study. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 45(3), 106-111. https://doi.org/10.5326/0450106
Free copy at http://jcore-reference.highwire.org/content/45/3/106

2
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 22 at 2:49
  • 1
    Welcome to MedicalSciences.SE. Just a tip, links to often break and therefore, when providing links to scientific papers, please provide references and (where possible) either a pubmed link or doi link in case they do break. It makes it easier to find if needed. Aug 22 at 6:03
1

The Rhea et al. article on SARS-CoV-2 suggests that the S1 protein crosses the BBB by a specific mechanism (general albumin protein does not cross at the same time), so no general disruption of the BBB is indicated (See Fig. 1 in paper). The authors also note "Based on experiments with the glycoprotein WGA, we found that brain entry of I-S1 likely involves the vesicular-dependent mechanism of adsorptive transcytosis."

Even without general BBB disruption, ivermectin can cause serious neurological issues in humans.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.