Blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability to 24Na+36CI, and [3H] sucrose was studied in rats after 2 wk of streptozocin-induced diabetes. The PS (permeabilitysurface area product) for Na+ in the cortex of the frontal lobes was 5.4 ± 0.6 (105 cm3 g−1 · s−1; ± SD) in diabetic rats compared with 7.1 ± 1.7 in control rats. In the occipital cortex, the values were 7.6 ± 1.5 and 9.9 ± 1.6, respectively. In contrast, BBB permeability to Cl and sucrose remained unchanged. We conclude that a selective alteration in BBB permeability to Na+ unrelated to changes in brain capillary surface area is present in experimental diabetes.

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