Corticosteroids reportedly decrease blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and/or CNS IgG synthesis in patients with multiple sclerosis or brain tumors. However, these effects have not been studied in healthy humans. We investigated the effects of prednisone, 80 mg/day for five days, on the ratio of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) albumin/serum albumin, a measure of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, and on CSF and serum IgG levels in six healthy, normal volunteers. We found significant steroid-induced decreases in serum and CSF albumin levels and in serum IgG levels. However, we found only a nonsignificant decrease in BBB permeability and no significant change in CNS IgG synthesis. These findings, based on a small number of volunteers, suggest that it may be difficult to further decrease BBB permeability and CNS IgG synthesis in medically healthy subjects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems