Blood brain barrier permeability of 11C labeled alcohols and 15O labeled water

M. E. Raichle, J. O. Eichling, M. G. Straatmann, M. J. Welch, K. B. Larson, M. M. Ter-Pogossian

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184 Scopus citations


The extraction of 11C labeled methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol, as well as 15O labeled water by the brain during a single capillary transit, was studied in vivo in six adult rhesus monkeys by external detection of the time course of these tracers subsequent to their internal carotid artery injection. The data demonstrate the feasibility of accurately measuring brain permeability of highly diffusible substances by this technique and show that neither water nor the alcohols studied freely equilibrate with brain when the cerebral blood flow exceeds 30 ml/100 g min-1. At a cerebral blood flow of 50 ml/100 g min-1 only about 93% of an injected bolus of labeled water freely exchanges with brain, compared with methanol (93%), ethanol (97%), and isopropanol (99%). The brain capillary permeability surface area (PS) products computed from these data were 0.023 cm3/s g-1 (water), 0.024 cm3/s g-1 (methanol), 0.030 cm3/s g-1 (ethanol), and 0.062 cm3/s g-1 (isopropanol). This sequence of PS products is consistent with the individual lipid solubilities of the alcohols studied and underscores the unique brain permeability characteristics of lipid insoluble water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976


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