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Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters

Open Access

Flavonoid transport across RBE4 cells: A blood-brain barrier model

  • Ana Faria1, 2Email author,
  • Diogo Pestana1,
  • Diana Teixeira1,
  • Joana Azevedo2,
  • Victor De Freitas2,
  • Nuno Mateus2 and
  • Conceição Calhau1
Cellular & Molecular Biology LettersAn International Journal201015:6

Received: 2 October 2009

Accepted: 2 February 2010

Published: 8 February 2010


There is a growing interest in dietary therapeutic strategies to combat oxidative stress-induced damage to the Central Nervous System (CNS), which is associated with a number of pathophysiological processes, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and cerebrovascular diseases. Identifying the mechanisms associated with phenolic neuroprotection has been delayed by the lack of information concerning the ability of these compounds to enter the CNS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the transmembrane transport of flavonoids across RBE-4 cells (an immortalized cell line of rat cerebral capillary endothelial cells) and the effect of ethanol on this transport. The detection and quantification of all of the phenolic compounds in the studied samples (basolateral media) was performed using a HPLC-DAD (Diode Array Detector). All of the tested flavonoids (catechin, quercetin and cyanidin-3-glucoside) passed across the RBE-4 cells in a time-dependent manner. This transport was not influenced by the presence of 0.1% ethanol. In conclusion, the tested flavonoids were capable of crossing this blood-brain barrier model.

Key words

AnthocyaninBlood-brain barrierFlavonol3-flavanolRBE4Transport