A Compartmental Model for the Iron Trafficking Across the Blood-Brain Barriers in Neurodegenerative Diseases

E. Ficiara, F. D'Agata, S. Cattaldo, L. Priano, A. Mauro, C. Guiot

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Iron accumulation in the brain is supposed to play a central role in the induction of oxidative stress and consequently in neurodegeneration. The sensitive balance of iron in the brain is maintained by the brain barriers system, i.e., the blood-brain barrier between the blood and brain interstitial fluid and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In this work, we proposed a three-compartmental mathematical model simulating iron trafficking between blood, CSF, and cerebral space, describing the direction of fluxes based on the structural and functional characteristics of the brain barriers system. Different techniques of sensitivity analysis were used to evaluate the most important parameters, providing an indication for the most relevant biological functions that potentially affect the physiological transport of iron across brain barriers.

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