Blood–brain barrier dysfunction following traumatic brain injury

Himakarnika Alluri, Katie Wiggins-Dohlvik, Matthew L. Davis, Jason H. Huang, Binu Tharakan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury is a serious cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. After traumatic brain injury, the blood–brain barrier, the protective barrier between the brain and the intravascular compartment, becomes dysfunctional, leading to leakage of proteins, fluid, and transmigration of immune cells. As this leakage has profound clinical implications, including edema formation, elevated intracranial pressure and decreased perfusion pressure, much interest has been paid to better understanding the mechanisms responsible for these events. Various molecular pathways and numerous mediators have been found to be involved in the intricate process of regulating blood–brain barrier permeability following traumatic brain injury. This review provides an update to the existing knowledge about the various pathophysiological pathways and advancements in the field of blood–brain barrier dysfunction and hyperpermeability following traumatic brain injury, including the role of various tight junction proteins involved in blood–brain barrier integrity and regulation. We also address pitfalls of existing systems and propose strategies to improve the various debilitating functional deficits caused by this progressive epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1104
Number of pages12
JournalMetabolic Brain Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 10 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Brain edema
  • Central nervous system trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Vascular permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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