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Blood-Brain Barrier hCMEC/D3 Cell Line

The hCMEC/D3 BBB cell line has been extensively characterized for brain endothelial phenotype and is a model of human blood-brain barrier (BBB) function.

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Human BBB cell line, Human blood-brain barrier cell line, Human cerebral endothelial cell line, CMEC/D3 cell Line, hCMEC/D3 cell line

biological source


Quality Level


cell culture | mammalian: suitable
drug transporter assay: suitable

shipped in

liquid nitrogen

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cell culture | mammalian: suitable, drug transporter assay: suitable


cell culture | stem cell: suitable


cell based assay: suitable


cell based assay: suitable, cell culture | mammalian: suitable, cell migration: suitable

shipped in

liquid nitrogen

shipped in

liquid nitrogen

shipped in

dry ice

shipped in

liquid nitrogen

Quality Level


Quality Level


Quality Level


Quality Level


General description

The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective permeability barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid in the central nervous system. The blood–brain barrier is formed by capillary endothelial cells, which are connected by tight junctions with an extremely high electrical resistivity. The blood–brain barrier allows the passage of water, some gases, and lipid soluble molecules by passive diffusion, as well as the selective transport of molecules such as glucose and amino acids that are crucial to neural function. On the other hand, the blood–brain barrier may prevent the entry of lipophilic, potential neurotoxins by way of an active transport mechanism mediated by P-glycoprotein. Astrocytes are necessary to create the blood–brain barrier. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) prevents entry into the brain of most drugs from the blood. The presence of the BBB makes difficult the development of new treatments of brain diseases, or new radiopharmaceuticals for neuroimaging of brain.
The hCMEC/D3 cell line was derived from human temporal lobe microvessels isolated from tissue excised during surgery for control of epilepsy. The primary isolate was enriched in cerebral endothelial cells (CECs). In the first passage, cells were sequentially immortalized by lentiviral vector transduction with the catalytic subunit of human telomerase (hTERT) and SV40 large T antigen, following which CEC were selectively isolated by limited dilution cloning, and clones were extensively characterized for brain endothelial phenotype. This brain microvascular endothelial cell line represents one such model of the human BBB that can be easily grown and is amenable to cellular and molecular studies on pathological and drug transport mechanisms with relevance to the central nervous system (CNS).

Couraud PO, et al. (2008) The human brain endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3 as a human blood‐brain barrier model for drug transport studies. Fluids Barriers CNS. 2013 Mar 26;10(1):16.

Cell Line Description

Endothelial Cells


Research Category
Research Sub Category
Neurodegenerative Diseases
The hCMEC/D3 BBB cell line has been extensively characterized for brain endothelial phenotype and is a model of human blood-brain barrier (BBB) function.
This product is intended for sale and sold solely for internal non-commercial research use per the terms of the “Restricted Use Agreement” as detailed in the product documentation. For information regarding any other uses, please contact


• Each vial contains ≥ 1X10^6 viable cells.
• Cells are tested by PCR and are negative for Hepatitis A, B, C, HPV, Herpes and HIV-1 & 2 viruses.
• Cells are negative for mycoplasma contamination.

Storage and Stability

Blood-Brain Barrier hCMEC/D3 cells should be stored in liquid nitrogen. The cells can be passage for at least 10 passages without significantly affecting the cell marker expression and functionality.


RESEARCH USE ONLY. This product is regulated in France when intended to be used for scientific purposes, including for import and export activities (Article L 1211-1 paragraph 2 of the Public Health Code). The purchaser (i.e. enduser) is required to obtain an import authorization from the France Ministry of Research referred in the Article L1245-5-1 II. of Public Health Code. By ordering this product, you are confirming that you have obtained the proper import authorization.
Unless otherwise stated in our catalog or other company documentation accompanying the product(s), our products are intended for research use only and are not to be used for any other purpose, which includes but is not limited to, unauthorized commercial uses, in vitro diagnostic uses, ex vivo or in vivo therapeutic uses or any type of consumption or application to humans or animals.

This product contains genetically modified organisms (GMO). Within the EU GMOs are regulated by Directives 2001/18/EC and 2009/41/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and their national implementation in the member States respectively. This legislation obliges {HCompany} to request certain information about you and the establishment where the GMOs are being handled. Click here for Enduser Declaration (EUD) Form.

Storage Class Code

12 - Non Combustible Liquids



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

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