Introduction: Blood brain barrier and multidrug resistance phenomenon are subjects of many investigations. Mainly, because of their functions in protecting the central nervous system (CNS) by blocking the delivery of toxic substances to the brain. This special function has some disadvantages, like drug delivery to the brain in neurodegenerative diseases
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine how natural and synthetic substances affect the expression levels of genes (Mdr1a, Mdr1b, Mrp1, Mrp2, Oatp1a4, Oatp1a5 and Oatp1c1) that encode transporters in the blood-brain barrier.
Methods: cDNA was synthesized from total RNA isolated from rat hippocampus. The expression level of genes was determined using real-time PCR (RT-PCR) method.
Results: Our findings showed that verapamil, as a synthetic substance, caused the greatest reduction of mRNA level of genes studied. The standardized extract of Curcuma longa reduced the expression level for Mrp1 and Mrp2, whereas the increase of mRNA level was observed for Mdr1b, Oatp1a5 and Oatp1c1.
Conclusions: These results suggests that herbal extracts may play an important role in overcoming the blood brain barrier during pharmacotherapy.