Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA.
Getting drugs and genes into the brain is a tall order. This is because the presence of the blood-brain barrier prevents many molecules from crossing into the brain. Overcoming this problem will have a profound effect on the treatment of many neurological disorders, allowing larger water-soluble molecules to pass into the brain. Transport vectors, such as endogenous peptides, modified proteins or peptidomimetic monoclonal antibodies, are one way of tricking the brain into allowing these molecules to pass. This article will review such molecular Trojan Horses, and the progress that has been made in the delivery of drugs and genes to the brain.