Investigations on the Physiology, Physiopathology and Pharmacology of Cerebrospinal Fluid in Primates.
Final rept. Jul 68-Jul 70,
MILAN UNIV (ITALY) INST OF PHARMACOLOGY
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Previous research by our group has demonstrated in growing nervous tissues and brain tumors the presence of a precursor of cholesterol, desmosterol 24-dehydro-cholesterol which is not detectable in other tissues except skin. A treatment with drugs acting specifically on the last steps of cholesterol biosynthesis, such as triparanol induces an accumulation of desmosterol and other sterol precursors of cholesterol in liver, blood and other tissues. It was shown that triparanol treatment induces an accumulation of desmosterol in murine experimental brain tumors and in human brain tumors as well. A further investigation has been set up to look for sterol composition in CSF of patients bearing brain tumors. In normal CSF minute amounts of cholesterol only were detected, while the CSF of tumor bearing patients showed also trace amounts of desmosterol. A short treatment with triparanol on patients bearing brain tumors constantly induced an accumulation of much larger amounts of desmosterol in the CSF. This phenomenon is interesting for possible utilization as a test for early diagnosis of brain tumors. In order to establish the potential value of the proposed test it was essential to investigate the passage of sterols across the blood-brain barrier under normal and pathological conditions.
- Anatomy and Physiology