In Vitro Infection with Dengue Virus Induces Changes in the Structure and Function of the Mouse Brain Endothelium.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The neurological manifestations of dengue disease are occurring with greater frequency, and currently, no information is available regarding the reasons for this phenomenon. Some viruses infect and/or alter the function of endothelial organs, which results in changes in cellular function, including permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which allows the entry of infected cells or free viral particles into the nervous system. METHODS:In the present study, we standardized two in vitro models, a polarized monolayer of mouse brain endothelial cells (MBECs) and an organized co-culture containing MBECs and astrocytes. Using these cell models, we assessed whether DENV-4 or the neuro-adapted dengue virus (D4MB-6) variant infects cells or induces changes in the structure or function of the endothelial barrier. RESULTS:The results showed that MBECs, but not astrocytes, were susceptible to infection with both viruses, although the percentage of infected cells was higher when the neuro-adapted virus variant was used. In both culture systems, DENV infection changed the localization of the tight junction proteins Zonula occludens (ZO-1) and Claudin-1 (Cln1), and this process was associated with a decrease in transendothelial resistance, an increase in macromolecule permeability and an increase in the paracellular passing of free virus particles. MBEC infection led to transcriptional up-regulation of adhesion molecules (VCAM-1 and PECAM) and immune mediators (MCP-1 and TNF- ?) that are associated with immune cell transmigration, mainly in D4MB-6-infected cells. CONCLUSION:These results indicate that DENV infection in MBECs altered the structure and function of the BBB and activated the endothelium, affecting its transcellular and paracellular permeability and favoring the passage of viruses and the transmigration of immune cells. This phenomenon can be harnessed for neurotropic and neurovirulent strains to infect and induce alterations in the CNS.
Project description:Bacterial meningitis is a deadly disease most commonly caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, leading to severe neurological sequelae including cerebral edema, seizures, stroke, and mortality when untreated. Meningitis is initiated by the transfer of S. pneumoniae from blood to the brain across the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier or the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Current treatment strategies include adjuvant dexamethasone for inflammation and cerebral edema, followed by antibiotics. The success of dexamethasone is however inconclusive, necessitating new therapies for controlling edema, the primary reason for neurological complications. Since we have previously shown a general activation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-1?) in bacterial infections, we hypothesized that HIF-1?, via induction of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is involved in transmigration of pathogens across the BBB. In human, murine meningitis brain samples, HIF-1? activation was observed by immunohistochemistry. S. pneumoniae infection in brain endothelial cells (EC) resulted in in vitro upregulation of HIF-1?/VEGF (Western blotting/qRT-PCR) associated with increased paracellular permeability (fluorometry, impedance measurements). This was supported by bacterial localization at cell-cell junctions in vitro and in vivo in brain ECs from mouse and humans (confocal, super-resolution, electron microscopy, live-cell imaging). Hematogenously infected mice showed increased permeability, S. pneumoniae deposition in the brain, along with upregulation of genes in the HIF-1?/VEGF pathway (RNA sequencing of brain microvessels). Inhibition of HIF-1? with echinomycin, siRNA in bEnd5 cells or using primary brain ECs from HIF-1? knock-out mice revealed reduced endothelial permeability and transmigration of S. pneumoniae. Therapeutic rescue using the HIF-1? inhibitor echinomycin resulted in increased survival and improvement of BBB function in S. pneumoniae-infected mice. We thus demonstrate paracellular migration of bacteria across BBB and a critical role for HIF-1?/VEGF therein and hence propose targeting this pathway to prevent BBB dysfunction and ensuing brain damage in infections.
Project description:Endothelial dysfunction underlies the pathobiology of cerebrovascular disease. Mast cells are located in close proximity to the vasculature, and vasoactive mediators released upon their activation can promote endothelial activation leading to blood brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction. We examined the mechanism of mast cell-induced endothelial activation via endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress mediated P-selectin expression in a transgenic mouse model of sickle cell disease (SCD), which shows BBB dysfunction. We used mouse brain endothelial cells (mBECs) and mast cells-derived from skin of control and sickle mice to examine the mechanisms involved. Compared to control mouse mast cell conditioned medium (MCCM), mBECs incubated with sickle mouse MCCM showed increased, structural disorganization and swelling of the ER and Golgi, aggregation of ribosomes, ER stress marker proteins, accumulation of galactose-1-phosphate uridyl transferase, mitochondrial dysfunction, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, P-selectin expression and mBEC permeability. These effects of sickle-MCCM on mBEC were inhibited by Salubrinal, a reducer of ER stress. Histamine levels in the plasma, skin releasate and in mast cells of sickle mice were higher compared to control mice. Compared to control BBB permeability was increased in sickle mice. Treatment of mice with imatinib, Salubrinal, or P-selectin blocking antibody reduced BBB permeability in sickle mice. Mast cells induce endothelial dysfunction via ER stress-mediated P-selectin expression. Mast cell activation contributes to ER stress mediated endothelial P-selectin expression leading to increased endothelial permeability and impairment of BBB. Targeting mast cells and/or ER stress has the potential to ameliorate endothelial dysfunction in SCD and other pathobiologies.
Project description:Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and increased immune cell trafficking into the central nervous system (CNS) are hallmarks of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1; CD31) is expressed on cells of the vascular compartment and regulates vascular integrity and immune cell trafficking. Involvement of PECAM-1 in MS pathogenesis has been suggested by the detection of increased levels of soluble PECAM-1 (sPECAM-1) in the serum and CSF of MS patients. Here, we report profound upregulation of cell-bound PECAM-1 in initial (pre-phagocytic) white matter as well as active cortical gray matter MS lesions. Using a human in vitro BBB model we observed that PECAM-1 is not essential for the transmigration of human CD4+ T-cell subsets (Th1, Th1*, Th2, and Th17) across the BBB. Employing an additional in vitro BBB model based on primary mouse brain microvascular endothelial cells (pMBMECs) we show that the lack of endothelial PECAM-1 impairs BBB properties as shown by reduced transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and increases permeability for small molecular tracers. Investigating T-cell migration across the BBB under physiological flow by in vitro live cell imaging revealed that absence of PECAM-1 in pMBMECs did not influence arrest, polarization, and crawling of effector/memory CD4+ T cells on the pMBMECs. Absence of endothelial PECAM-1 also did not affect the number of T cells able to cross the pMBMEC monolayer under flow, but surprisingly favored transcellular over paracellular T-cell diapedesis. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PECAM-1 is critically involved in regulating BBB permeability and although not required for T-cell diapedesis itself, its presence or absence influences the cellular route of T-cell diapedesis across the BBB. Upregulated expression of cell-bound PECAM-1 in human MS lesions may thus reflect vascular repair mechanisms aiming to restore BBB integrity and paracellular T-cell migration across the BBB as it occurs during CNS immune surveillance.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) dynamically controls and maintains a precisely balanced brain microenvironment necessary for reliable functioning. It is made up of highly specialized endothelial cells (ECs) in the lining of the vascular wall. These ECs are surrounded by the basal lamina, astrocytic perivascular endfeet, pericytes, microglia and neuronal processes that have been shown to contribute to barrier function1. In essence, the brain endothelium limits both transcellular and paracellular passage of cells and molecules into the central nervous system (CNS). Transcellular passage of hydrophilic molecules is limited due to a low rate of transcytotic vesicles, an extremely low pinocytotic activity, expression of active efflux transporters, and high metabolic activity. Paracellular diffusion of hydrophilic molecules and trafficking of immune cells is restricted by a network of tight junctions (TJs)2-5. Due to these characteristics, the BBB is able to protect the CNS from sudden changes in blood composition and uncontrolled influx of immune cells. In a large number of neuro-inflammatory diseases, an impaired function and an opening of the BBB are observed. In diseases of the CNS like multiple sclerosis or stroke or after brain trauma, the BBB becomes inflamed (mediated by for example reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hypoxia) and its function severely impaired which gives rise to enhanced cellular infiltration, thus contributing to tissue damage and neurological deficits. Due to the specialized nature of brain ECs, transmigration of leukocytes through cerebrovascular endothelium is likely to differ from that in other vascular beds. Generally, the transmigration process is closely controlled by the interaction of leukocytes with the endothelial surface followed by low velocity rolling, arrest, firm adhesion, and finally transmigration. For the diapedesis of immune cells across the cerebral vasculature a re-arrangement of the cytoskeleton and opening of the TJ complexes is required to allow cells to pass into the sub endothelial space. In the initial step of the adhesive cascade leukocytes adhere to the endothelium with low affinity. This adhesion is mediated by several members of the selectin family and their corresponding ligands. Despite the low affinity of these interactions, resulting contact of leukocytes with the endothelium leads to further activation of both cell types and finally transmigration of the leukocytes through the BBB6,7. The glycosylation of endothelial cells of different vascular bed origins To date it is unknown which specific carbohydrate structures on the BBB endothelium mediate leukocyte capture and rolling, and whether these structures are differentially expressed onto inflamed brain EC compared to normal brain ECs and vascular beds of other organs. Initial studies using qPCR and FACS analysis within our group reveal that brain endothelial cells have a different profile in their glycosylation-related genes compared to microvascular ECs upon inflammation, which may result in a different glycosylation profile of adhesive structures and may underlie rolling, adhesion and diapedesis of leukocytes. In this project we wish to identify specific, glycosylated structures on brain endothelial cells that mediate capture, rolling and diapedesis of leukocytes in the brain. To investigate the expression of glycosyltransferases in dendritic cells and the changes in expression associated with maturation. RNA preparations from stimulated and non-stimulated hcMEC/D3 (human brain endothelial cells line) and FMVEC (human promary microvascular endothelial cells isolated from foreskins) were sent to both Microarray Core (E) and Core(C). The RNA was put on an RNeasy Column, amplified, labeled, and hybridized to the Glycov3 microarrays. Data was sent to Dr. van Kooyk's lab for analysis.
Project description:Transmigration of circulating dendritic cells (DCs) into the central nervous system (CNS) across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) has not thus far been investigated. An increase in immune cell infiltration across the BBB, uncontrolled activation and antigen presentation are influenced by chemokines. Chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) is a potent chemoattractant known to be secreted by the BBB but has not been implicated in the recruitment of DCs specifically at the BBB.Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in C57BL/6 mice by injection of MOG35-55 peptide and pertussis toxin intraperitoneally. Animals with increasing degree of EAE score were sacrificed and subjected to near-infrared and fluorescence imaging analysis to detect and localize the accumulation of CD11c+-labeled DCs with respect to CCL2 expression. To further characterize the direct effect of CCL2 in DC trafficking at the BBB, we utilized an in vitro BBB model consisting of human brain microvascular endothelial cells to compare migratory patterns of monocyte-derived dendritic cells, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Further, this model was used to image transmigration using fluorescence microcopy and to assess specific molecular signaling pathways involved in transmigration.Near-infrared imaging of DC transmigration correlated with the severity of inflammation during EAE. Ex vivo histology confirmed the presence of CCL2 in EAE lesions, with DCs emerging from perivascular spaces. DCs exhibited more efficient transmigration than T cells in BBB model studies. These observations correlated with transwell imaging, which indicated a paracellular versus transcellular pattern of migration by DCs and T cells. Moreover, at the molecular level, CCL2 seems to facilitate DC transmigration in an ERK1/2-dependent manner.CNS recruitment of DCs correlates with disease severity in EAE via CCL2 chemotaxis and paracellular transmigration across the BBB, which is facilitated by ERK activation. Overall, these comprehensive studies provide a state-of-the-art view of DCs within the CNS, elucidate their path across the BBB, and highlight potential mechanisms involved in CCL2-mediated DC trafficking.
Project description:Characterizing the mechanisms by which West Nile virus (WNV) causes blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, leukocyte infiltration into the brain and neuroinflammation is important to understand the pathogenesis of WNV encephalitis. Here, we examined the role of endothelial cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in mediating the adhesion and transendothelial migration of leukocytes across human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMVE). Infection with WNV (NY99 strain) significantly induced ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin in human endothelial cells and infected mice brain, although the levels of their ligands on leukocytes (VLA-4, LFA-1and MAC-1) did not alter. The permeability of the in vitro BBB model increased dramatically following the transmigration of monocytes and lymphocytes across the models infected with WNV, which was reversed in the presence of a cocktail of blocking antibodies against ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin. Further, WNV infection of HBMVE significantly increased leukocyte adhesion to the HBMVE monolayer and transmigration across the infected BBB model. The blockade of these CAMs reduced the adhesion and transmigration of leukocytes across the infected BBB model. Further, comparison of infection with highly neuroinvasive NY99 and non-lethal (Eg101) strain of WNV demonstrated similar level of virus replication and fold-increase of CAMs in HBMVE cells suggesting that the non-neuropathogenic response of Eg101 is not because of its inability to infect HBMVE cells. Collectively, these results suggest that increased expression of specific CAMs is a pathological event associated with WNV infection and may contribute to leukocyte infiltration and BBB disruption in vivo. Our data further implicate that strategies to block CAMs to reduce BBB disruption may limit neuroinflammation and virus-CNS entry via 'Trojan horse' route, and improve WNV disease outcome.
Project description:Microvessels of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) regulate transport into the brain. The highly specialized brain microvascular endothelial cells, a major component of the BBB, express tight junctions and efflux transporters which regulate paracellular and transcellular permeability. However, most existing models of BBB microvessels fail to exhibit physiological barrier function. Here, using (iPSC)-derived human brain microvascular endothelial cells (dhBMECs) within templated type I collagen channels we mimic the cylindrical geometry, cell-extracellular matrix interactions, and shear flow typical of human brain post-capillary venules. We characterize the structure and barrier function in comparison to non-brain-specific microvessels, and show that dhBMEC microvessels recapitulate physiologically low solute permeability and quiescent endothelial cell behavior. Transcellular permeability is increased two-fold using a clinically relevant dose of a p-glycoprotein inhibitor tariquidar, while paracellular permeability is increased using a bolus dose of hyperosmolar agent mannitol. Lastly, we show that our human BBB microvessels are responsive to inflammatory cytokines via upregulation of surface adhesion molecules and increased leukocyte adhesion, but no changes in permeability. Human iPSC-derived blood-brain barrier microvessels support quantitative analysis of barrier function and endothelial cell dynamics in quiescence and in response to biologically- and clinically-relevant perturbations.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is formed by the endothelial cells lining cerebral microvessels, but how blood-borne signaling molecules influence permeability is incompletely understood. We here examined how the apolipoprotein M (apoM)-bound sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) signaling pathway affects the BBB in different categories of cerebral microvessels using ApoM deficient mice (<i>Apom<sup>-/-</sup></i>). We used two-photon microscopy to monitor BBB permeability of sodium fluorescein (376 Da), Alexa Fluor (643 Da), and fluorescent albumin (45 kDA). We show that BBB permeability to small molecules increases in <i>Apom<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice. Vesicle-mediated transfer of albumin in arterioles increased 3 to 10-fold in <i>Apom</i><sup><i>-/</i>-</sup> mice, whereas transcytosis in capillaries and venules remained unchanged. The S1P receptor 1 agonist SEW2871 rapidly normalized paracellular BBB permeability in <i>Apom<sup>-/-</sup></i> mice, and inhibited transcytosis in penetrating arterioles, but not in pial arterioles. Thus, apoM-bound S1P maintains low paracellular BBB permeability in all cerebral microvessels and low levels of vesicle-mediated transport in penetrating arterioles.
Project description:In vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models can be useful for understanding leukocyte-endothelial interactions at this unique vascular-tissue interface. Desirable features of such a model include shear stress, non-transformed cells and co-cultures of brain microvascular endothelial cells with astrocytes. Recovery of transmigrated leukocytes for further analysis is also appealing.We report an in vitro BBB model for leukocyte transmigration incorporating shear stress with co-culture of conditionally immortalized human endothelial cell line (hBMVEC) and human astrocyte cell line (hAST). Transmigrated leukocytes can be recovered for comparison with input and non-transmigrated cells.hBMVEC and hAST exhibited physiological and morphological BBB properties when cocultured back-to-back on membranes. In particular, astrocyte processes protruded through 3 ?m membrane pores, terminating in close proximity to the hBMVEC with a morphology reminiscent of end-feet. Co-culture with hAST also decreased the permeability of hBMVEC. In our model, astrocytes promoted transendothelial leukocyte transmigration.This model offers the opportunity to evaluate whether BBB properties and leukocyte transmigration across cytokine-activated hBMVEC are influenced by human astrocytes.We present a BBB model for leukocyte transmigration incorporating shear stress with co-culture of hBMVEC and hAST. We demonstrate that hAST promoted leukocyte transmigration and also increased certain barrier functions of hBMVEC. This model provides reproducible assays for leukocyte transmigration with robust results, which will enable further defining the relationships among leukocytes and the cellular elements of the BBB.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly complex and dynamic barrier. It is formed by an interdependent network of brain capillary endothelial cells, endowed with barrier properties, and perivascular cells (astrocytes and pericytes) responsible for inducing and maintaining those properties. One of the primary properties of the BBB is a strict regulation of paracellular permeability due to the presence of junctional complexes (tight, adherens and gap junctions) between the endothelial cells. Alterations in junction assembly and function significantly affect BBB properties, particularly barrier permeability. However, such alterations are also involved in remodeling the brain endothelial cell surface and regulating brain endothelial cell phenotype. This review summarizes the characteristics of brain endothelial tight, adherens and gap junctions and highlights structural and functional alterations in junctional proteins that may contribute to BBB dysfunction.