Prednisone effects on blood-brain barrier permeability and CNS IgG synthesis in healthy humans

O. M. Wolkowitz, N. M. Papadopoulos, R. Costello, A. Breier, A. R. Doran, D. Pickar, D. Rubinow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-158
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychology(all)


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