What is the best in vitro model for BBB permeation studies?

Cell lines (e.g. bovine BEC, human ECV304, rat RBE4,…)
Based on reliability and ease of use/culture
Forr compound permeability studies, pGP efflux inhibition studies


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All Answers (5)

  • Marc Watson · Takeda Cambridge and Singapore
    Hi Frederic, I could give you a very long answer to this question! The are no perfect models, but some are certainly better than others. I'd definitely use primary cells, every cell line is much leakier, and some commonly used lines aren't even endothelial but are epithelial. What primary cell species you go for is down to you and what experiments you need to do, whether you want to translate them to in vivo models and what sort of throughput you need. Good models exist for rat, mouse, bovine and porcine. We've recently published an optimised rat protocol, see my profile for details if you're interested. Bear in mind, even a good "tight" in vitro barrier will be much leakier then in vivo. Drop me a line if you've other questions! Marc
  • Frédéric Marçon · Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Amiens
    Ok thanks Marc for your answer, i'll look for primary cells that express MDR/p-Gp. Deli et al (2005) have published a good review..."Permeability Studies on In Vitro Blood–Brain Barrier Models". I'll also have a look on your rat protocol.
  • Deleted
    MDCK Cell lines are the most preferred ones i suppose for BBB permeability studies
  • Maxime Culot · Université d'Artois
    Hi Frédéric,

    If you are still looking for an in vitro BBB model. Feel free to contact me (
    My lab located in Lens, France is specialized in in vitro BBB models and we could hopefully help you.

    Find information at :
  • Frédéric Marçon · Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Amiens
    Ok merci beaucoup je connais effectivement votre labo (je suis en fin de thèse au LG)

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