Early inhibition of MMP activity in ischemic rat brain promotes expression of tight junction proteins and angiogenesis during recovery.
ABSTRACT: In cerebral ischemia, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have a dual role by acutely disrupting tight junction proteins (TJPs) in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and chronically promoting angiogenesis. Since TJP remodeling of the neurovascular unit (NVU) is important in recovery and early inhibition of MMPs is neuroprotective, we hypothesized that short-term MMP inhibition would reduce infarct size and promote angiogenesis after ischemia. Adult spontaneously hypertensive rats had a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion with reperfusion. At the onset of ischemia, they received a single dose of the MMP inhibitor, GM6001. They were studied at multiple times up to 4 weeks with immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We observed newly formed vessels in peri-infarct regions at 3 weeks after reperfusion. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI showed BBB opening in new vessels. Along with the new vessels, pericytes expressed zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and MMP-3, astrocytes expressed ZO-1, occludin, and MMP-2, while endothelial cells expressed claudin-5. The GM6001, which reduced tissue loss at 3 to 4 weeks, significantly increased new vessel formation with expression of TJPs and MMPs. Our results show that pericytes and astrocytes act spatiotemporally, contributing to extraendothelial TJP formation, and that MMPs are involved in BBB restoration during recovery. Early MMP inhibition benefits neurovascular remodeling after stroke.
Project description:Vascular cognitive impairment is a major cause of dementia caused by chronic hypoxia, producing progressive damage to white matter (WM) secondary to blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening and vascular dysfunction. Tight junction proteins (TJPs), which maintain BBB integrity, are lost in acute ischemia. Although angiogenesis is critical for neurovascular remodeling, less is known about its role in chronic hypoxia. To study the impact of TJP degradation and angiogenesis during pathological progression of WM damage, we used the spontaneously hypertensive/stroke prone rats with unilateral carotid artery occlusion and Japanese permissive diet to model WM damage. MRI and IgG immunostaining showed regions with BBB damage, which corresponded with decreased endothelial TJPs, claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1. Affected WM had increased expression of angiogenic factors, Ki67, NG2, VEGF-A, and MMP-3 in vascular endothelial cells and pericytes. To facilitate the study of angiogenesis, we treated rats with minocycline to block BBB disruption, reduce WM lesion size, and extend survival. Minocycline-treated rats showed increased VEGF-A protein, TJP formation, and oligodendrocyte proliferation. We propose that chronic hypoxia disrupts TJPs, increasing vascular permeability, and initiating angiogenesis in WM. Minocycline facilitated WM repair by reducing BBB damage and enhancing expression of TJPs and angiogenesis, ultimately preserving oligodendrocytes.
Project description:Microvascular hyperpermeability that occurs at the level of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) often leads to vasogenic brain edema and elevated intracranial pressure following traumatic brain injury (TBI). At a cellular level, tight junction proteins (TJPs) between neighboring endothelial cells maintain the integrity of the BBB via TJ associated proteins particularly, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) that binds to the transmembrane TJPs and actin cytoskeleton intracellularly. The pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1? (IL-1?) as well as the proteolytic enzymes, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) are key mediators of trauma-associated brain edema. Recent studies indicate that melatonin a pineal hormone directly binds to MMP-9 and also might act as its endogenous inhibitor. We hypothesized that melatonin treatment will provide protection against TBI-induced BBB hyperpermeability via MMP-9 inhibition. Rat brain microvascular endothelial cells grown as monolayers were used as an in vitro model of the BBB and a mouse model of TBI using a controlled cortical impactor was used for all in vivo studies. IL-1? (10 ng/mL; 2 hours)-induced endothelial monolayer hyperpermeability was significantly attenuated by melatonin (10 ?g/mL; 1 hour), GM6001 (broad spectrum MMP inhibitor; 10 ?M; 1 hour), MMP-9 inhibitor-1 (MMP-9 specific inhibitor; 5 nM; 1 hour) or MMP-9 siRNA transfection (48 hours) in vitro. Melatonin and MMP-9 inhibitor-1 pretreatment attenuated IL-1?-induced MMP-9 activity, loss of ZO-1 junctional integrity and f-actin stress fiber formation. IL-1? treatment neither affected ZO-1 protein or mRNA expression or cell viability. Acute melatonin treatment attenuated BBB hyperpermeability in a mouse controlled cortical impact model of TBI in vivo. In conclusion, one of the protective effects of melatonin against BBB hyperpermeability occurs due to enhanced BBB integrity via MMP-9 inhibition. In addition, acute melatonin treatment provides protection against BBB hyperpermeability in a mouse model of TBI indicating its potential as a therapeutic agent for brain edema when established in humans.
Project description:Central nervous system tuberculosis (CNS TB) has a high mortality and morbidity associated with severe inflammation. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) protects the brain from inflammation but the mechanisms causing BBB damage in CNS TB are uncharacterized. We demonstrate that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) causes breakdown of type IV collagen and decreases tight junction protein (TJP) expression in a co-culture model of the BBB. This increases permeability, surface expression of endothelial adhesion molecules and leukocyte transmigration. TJP breakdown was driven by Mtb-dependent secretion of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9. TJP expression is regulated by Sonic hedgehog (Shh) through transcription factor Gli-1. In our model, the hedgehog pathway was downregulated by Mtb-stimulation, but Shh levels in astrocytes were unchanged. However, Scube2, a glycoprotein regulating astrocyte Shh release was decreased, inhibiting Shh delivery to brain endothelial cells. Activation of the hedgehog pathway by addition of a Smoothened agonist or by addition of exogenous Shh, or neutralizing MMP-9 activity, decreased permeability and increased TJP expression in the Mtb-stimulated BBB co-cultures. In summary, the BBB is disrupted by downregulation of the Shh pathway and breakdown of TJPs, secondary to increased MMP-9 activity which suggests that these pathways are potential novel targets for host directed therapy in CNS TB.
Project description:Hypertensive cerebropathy is a pathological condition associated with cerebral edema and disruption of the blood-brain barrier. However, the molecular pathways leading to this condition remains obscure. We hypothesize that MMP-9 inhibition can help reducing blood pressure and endothelial disruption associated with hypertensive cerebropathy. Dahl salt-sensitive (Dahl/SS) and Lewis rats were fed with high-salt diet for 6 weeks and then treated without and with GM6001 (MMP inhibitor). Treatment of GM6001 (1.2 mg/kg body weight) was administered through intraperitoneal injections on alternate days for 4 weeks. GM6001 non-administered groups were given vehicle (0.9% NaCl in water) treatment as control. Blood pressure was measured by tail-cuff method. The brain tissues were analyzed for oxidative/nitrosative stress, vascular MMP-9 expression, and tight junction proteins (TJPs). GM6001 treatment significantly reduced mean blood pressure in Dahl/SS rats which was significantly higher in vehicle-treated Dahl/SS rats. MMP-9 expression and activity was also considerably reduced in GM6001-treated Dahl/SS rats, which was otherwise notably increased in vehicle-treated Dahl/SS rats. Similarly MMP-9 expression in cerebral vessels of GM6001-treated Dahl/SS rats was also alleviated, as devised by immunohistochemistry analysis. Oxidative/nitrosative stress was significantly higher in vehicle-treated Dahl/SS rats as determined by biochemical estimations of malondialdehyde, nitrite, reactive oxygen species, and glutathione levels. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry analysis further confirmed considerable alterations of TJPs in hypertensive rats. Interestingly, GM6001 treatment significantly ameliorated oxidative/nitrosative stress and TJPs, which suggest restoration of vascular integrity in Dahl/SS rats. These findings determined that pharmacological inhibition of MMP-9 in hypertensive Dahl-SS rats attenuate high blood pressure and hypertension-associated cerebrovascular pathology.
Project description:Recent reports indicate that neural stem cells (NSCs) exist in a cluster-like formation in close proximity to cerebral microvessels. Similar appearing clusters can be seen ex vivo in NSC cultures termed neurospheres. It is known that this neurosphere configuration is important for preserving stemness and a proliferative state. How NSCs form neurospheres or neuroclusters remains largely undetermined. In this study, we show that primary human NSCs express the tight junction proteins (TJPs): zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), occludin, claudin-1, -3, -5, and -12. The relative mRNA expression was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and protein expression was confirmed by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. Our results show that downregulation of TJPs occurs as neuronal differentiation is induced, suggesting that control of TJPs may be tied to the neuronal differentiation program. Importantly, upon specific knockdown of the accessory TJP, ZO-1, undifferentiated NSCs showed decreased levels of key stem cell markers. Taken together, our results indicate that TJPs possibly aid in maintaining the intercellular configuration of NSCs and that reduction in TJP expression consequently affects the stemness status.
Project description:Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes with specificity towards extracellular matrix (ECM) components. MMPs, especially MMP-9, have been shown to degrade components of the basal lamina and disrupt the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and thus, contribute to neuroinflammation. In the present study we examined the role of MMP-9 in the foreign body response in the brain. Millipore filters of mixed cellulose ester were implanted into the brain cortex of wild type and MMP-9-null mice for a period of 2 d to 8 wks and the response was analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry. We observed enhanced and prolonged neuroinflammation in MMP-9-null mice, evidenced by persistence of neutrophils, macrophages/microglia, and reactive astrocytes up to 8 wks post-implantation. In addition, blood vessel density around implants was increased in MMP-9-null mice and detection of mouse serum albumin (MSA) indicated that vessels were leaky. Immunohistochemical and western blot analyses indicated that this defect was associated with the absence of tight junction proteins zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and ZO-2 from vessels in proximity to implants. Analysis of brain sections and brain protein extracts revealed that the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), which is a substrate for MMP-9, were significantly higher in MMP-9-null mice at 8wks post-implantation. Collectively, our studies suggest that increased levels of IL-1beta and the delayed repair of BBB are associated with prolongation of the FBR in MMP-9-null mice.
Project description:Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 are two crucial mediators contributing to blood-brain barrier (BBB) damage during cerebral ischemia. However, it is not known whether MMP-9 activation is involved in COX-2-mediated BBB disruption in ischemic stroke. In this study, we hypothesized that genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of COX-2 reduces BBB damage by reducing MMP-9 activity in a mouse model of ischemic stroke. Male COX-2 knockout (COX-2-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to 60 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) followed by 24 h of reperfusion. Genetic deletion of COX-2 or post-ischemic treatment with CAY10404, a highly selective COX-2 inhibitor, significantly reduced BBB damage and hemorrhagic transformation, as assessed by immunoglobulin G (IgG) extravasation and brain hemoglobin (Hb) levels, respectively. Immunoblotting analysis showed that tight junction proteins (TJPs) zonula occludens (ZO)-1 and occludin as well as junctional adhesion molecule-A (JAM-A) and the basal lamina protein collagen IV were dramatically reduced in the ischemic brain. Stroke-induced loss of these BBB structural proteins was significantly attenuated in COX-2-/- mice. Similarly, stroke-induced loss of ZO-1 and occludin was significantly attenuated by CAY10404 treatment. Ischemia-induced increase in MMP-9 protein levels in the ipsilateral cerebral cortex was significantly reduced in COX-2-/- mice. Stroke induced a dramatic increase in MMP-9 enzymatic activity in the ischemic cortex, which was markedly reduced by COX-2 gene deficiency or pharmacological inhibition with CAY10404. Levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO, an indicator of neutrophil infiltration into the brain parenchyma), neutrophil elastase (NE), and lipocalin-2 (LCN2, also known as neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin), measured by western blot and specific ELISA kits, respectively, were markedly increased in the ischemic brain. Increased levels of markers for neutrophil infiltration were significantly reduced in COX-2-/- mice compared with WT controls following stroke. Altogether, neurovascular protective effects of COX-2 blockade are associated with reduced BBB damage, MMP-9 expression/activity and neutrophil infiltration. Our study shows for the first time that MMP-9 is an important downstream effector contributing to COX-2-mediated neurovascular damage in ischemic stroke. Targeting the COX-2/MMP-9 pathway could represent a promising strategy to reduce neuroinflammatory events in order to preserve the BBB integrity and ameliorate ischemic stroke injury.
Project description:Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is activated in response to ischemia and significantly contributes to the neuroinflammatory process. Accumulation of COX-2-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) parallels the substantial increase in stroke-mediated blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown. Disruption of the BBB is a serious consequence of ischemic stroke, and is mainly mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). This study aimed to investigate the role of PGE2 EP1 receptor in neurovascular injury in stroke. We hypothesized that pharmacological blockade or genetic deletion of EP1 protects against BBB damage and hemorrhagic transformation by decreasing the levels and activity of MMP-3 and MMP-9. We found that post-ischemic treatment with the EP1 antagonist, SC-51089, or EP1 genetic deletion results in a significant reduction in BBB disruption and reduced hemorrhagic transformation in an experimental model of transient focal cerebral ischemia. These neurovascular protective effects of EP1 inactivation are associated with a significant reduction in MMP-9/-3, less peripheral neutrophil infiltration, and a preservation of tight junction proteins (ZO-1 and occludin) composing the BBB. Our study identifies the EP1 signaling pathway as an important link between neuroinflammation and MMP-mediated BBB breakdown in ischemic stroke. Targeting the EP1 receptor could represent a novel approach to diminish the devastating consequences of stroke-induced neurovascular damage.
Project description:The pathophysiological mechanism of white matter hyperintensities of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) includes an impaired blood-brain barrier (BBB) with increased permeability. Neuroinflammation likely contributes to the disruption of the BBB in CSVD. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanism of how neuroinflammation causes BBB damage is essential to preventing BBB disruption in CSVD. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) contributes to BBB damage in neuroinflammatory diseases. In this study, we observed that interleukin-1? (IL-1?)-induced MMP-9 secretion in pericytes increased BBB permeability to sodium fluorescein (Na-F) by damaging the disruption of VE-cadherin, occludin, claudin-5, and zonula occludin-1 (ZO-1). Melatonin reduced BBB permeability to Na-F and inhibited the disruption of the adherens and tight junction proteins. Melatonin also downregulated MMP-9 and upregulated tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1) gene expression, which decreased the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio. In addition, nuclear translocation of NF-?B/p65 induced by IL-1? in pericytes upregulated MMP-9 expression, which was inhibited by the NF-?B inhibitor PDTC. However, the NOTCH3 inhibitor DAPT significantly inhibited NF-?B/p65 translocation to the nucleus, while melatonin in combination with DAPT significantly prevented NF-?B/p65 translocation than DAPT alone. Our results suggest that melatonin reduced MMP-9-induced permeability of the BBB. Melatonin reduced MMP-9 expression and activity, which was induced by IL-1? through the regulation of the NOTCH3/NF-?B signaling pathway in pericytes, suggesting that pericytes regulate BBB integrity and function.
Project description:Though compromised blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a pathological hallmark of WNV-associated neurological sequelae, underlying mechanisms are unclear. We characterized the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) in WNV-infected human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMVE) and human brain cortical astrocytes (HBCA), components of BBB and their role in BBB disruption. Expression of multiple MMPs was significantly induced in WNV-infected HBCA cells. Naïve HBMVE cells incubated with the supernatant from WNV-infected HBCA cells demonstrated loss of tight junction proteins, which were rescued in the presence of MMP inhibitor, GM6001. Further, supernatant from WNV-infected HBCA cells compromised the in vitro BBB model integrity. Our data suggest astrocytes as one of the sources of MMP in the brain, which mediates BBB disruption allowing unrestricted entry of immune cells into the brain, thereby contributing to WNV neuropathogenesis. Because of the unavailability of WNV antivirals and vaccines, use of MMP inhibitors as an adjunct therapy to ameliorate WNV disease progression is warranted.