Functional Polarity of Microvascular Brain Endothelial Cells Supported by Neurovascular Unit Computational Model of Large Neutral Amino Acid Homeostasis.
ABSTRACT: The homeostatic regulation of large neutral amino acid (LNAA) concentration in the brain interstitial fluid (ISF) is essential for proper brain function. LNAA passage into the brain is primarily mediated by the complex and dynamic interactions between various solute carrier (SLC) transporters expressed in the neurovascular unit (NVU), among which SLC7A5/LAT1 is considered to be the major contributor in microvascular brain endothelial cells (MBEC). The LAT1-mediated trans-endothelial transport of LNAAs, however, could not be characterized precisely by available in vitro and in vivo standard methods so far. To circumvent these limitations, we have incorporated published in vivo data of rat brain into a robust computational model of NVU-LNAA homeostasis, allowing us to evaluate hypotheses concerning LAT1-mediated trans-endothelial transport of LNAAs across the blood brain barrier (BBB). We show that accounting for functional polarity of MBECs with either asymmetric LAT1 distribution between membranes and/or intrinsic LAT1 asymmetry with low intraendothelial binding affinity is required to reproduce the experimentally measured brain ISF response to intraperitoneal (IP) L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine injection. On the basis of these findings, we have also investigated the effect of IP administrated L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine on the dynamics of LNAAs in MBECs, astrocytes and neurons. Finally, the computational model was shown to explain the trans-stimulation of LNAA uptake across the BBB observed upon ISF perfusion with a competitive LAT1 inhibitor.
Project description:Transport of large neutral amino acids (LNAA) across the blood brain barrier (BBB) is facilitated by the L-type amino acid transporter, LAT1. Peripheral accumulation of one LNAA (e.g., phenylalanine (phe) in PKU) is predicted to increase uptake of the offending amino acid to the detriment of others, resulting in disruption of brain amino acid homeostasis. We hypothesized that selected non-physiological amino acids (NPAAs) such as DL-norleucine (NL), 2-aminonorbornane (NB; 2-aminobicyclo-(2,1,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid), 2-aminoisobutyrate (AIB), and N-methyl-aminoisobutyrate (MAIB), acting as competitive inhibitors of various brain amino acid transporters, could reduce brain phe in Pah (enu2) mice, a relevant murine model of PKU. Oral feeding of 5 % NL, 5 % AIB, 0.5 % NB and 3 % MAIB reduced brain phe by 56 % (p < 0.01), -1 % (p = NS), 27 % (p < 0.05) and 14 % (p < 0.01), respectively, compared to untreated subjects. Significant effects on other LNAAs (tyrosine, methionine, branched chain amino acids) were also observed, however, with MAIB displaying the mildest effects. Of interest, MAIB represents an inhibitor of the system A (alanine) transporter that primarily traffics small amino acids and not LNAAs. Our studies represent the first in vivo use of these NPAAs in Pah (enu2) mice, and provide proof-of-principle for their further preclinical development, with the long-term objective of identifying NPAA combinations and concentrations that selectively restrict brain phe transport while minimally impacting other LNAAs and downstream intermediates.
Project description:Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high concentrations of the essential amino acid L-phenylalanine (Phe) in blood plasma caused by reduced activity of phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). While numerous studies have shown association between high plasma Phe concentration and intellectual impairment, it is not clear whether increased Phe fluctuations also observed in PKU affect the brain as well. To investigate this, time-resolved in vivo data on Phe and competing large neutral amino acid (LNAA) concentrations in neurons are needed, but cannot be acquired readily with current methods. We have used in silico modeling as an alternative approach to characterize the interactive dynamics of Phe and competing LNAAs (CL) in the neurovascular unit (NVU). Our results suggest that plasma Phe fluctuations can propagate into the NVU cells and change there the concentration of LNAAs, with the highest magnitude of this effect observed at low frequency and high amplitude-to-mean ratio of the plasma Phe concentration fluctuations. Our model further elucidates the effect of therapeutic LNAA supplementation in PKU, showing how abnormal concentrations of Phe and CL in the NVU move thereby toward normal physiologic levels.
Project description:Amino acid supply in brain is regulated by the activity of the large neutral amino acid transporter (LAT) at the brain capillary endothelial cell, which forms the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo. Bovine BBB poly(A)(+) RNA was isolated from 2.0 kg of fresh bovine brain and size fractionated on a sucrose density gradient, and a size-fractionated bovine BBB cDNA library in the pSPORT vector was prepared. The full-length cDNA encoding the bovine BBB LAT was isolated from this library, and the predicted amino acid sequence was 89-92% identical to the LAT1 isoform. The bovine BBB LAT1 mRNA produced a 10-fold enhancement in tryptophan transport into frog oocytes coinjected with bovine BBB LAT1 mRNA and the mRNA for 4F2hc, which encodes the heavy chain of the heterodimer. Tryptophan transport into the mRNA-injected oocytes was sodium independent and was specifically inhibited by other large neutral amino acids, and the K(m) of tryptophan transport was 31.5 +/- 5.5 microM. Northern blotting with the bovine BBB LAT1 cDNA showed that the LAT1 mRNA is 100-fold higher in isolated bovine brain capillaries compared with C6 rat glioma cells or rat brain, and the LAT1 mRNA was not detected in rat liver, heart, lung, or kidney. These studies show that the LAT1 transcript is selectively expressed at the BBB compared with other tissues, and the abundance of the LAT1 mRNA at the BBB is manyfold higher than that of transcripts such as the 4F2hc antigen, actin, or the Glut1 glucose transporter.
Project description:The neurovascular unit (NVU) comprises brain endothelial cells, pericytes or vascular smooth muscle cells, glia and neurons. The NVU controls blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and cerebral blood flow, and maintains the chemical composition of the neuronal 'milieu', which is required for proper functioning of neuronal circuits. Recent evidence indicates that BBB dysfunction is associated with the accumulation of several vasculotoxic and neurotoxic molecules within brain parenchyma, a reduction in cerebral blood flow, and hypoxia. Together, these vascular-derived insults might initiate and/or contribute to neuronal degeneration. This article examines mechanisms of BBB dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders, notably Alzheimer's disease, and highlights therapeutic opportunities relating to these neurovascular deficits.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a multicellular neurovascular unit (NVU) that allows the selective passage of necessary molecules into the central nervous system (CNS), while limiting the entry of neurotoxins and most drugs. A crosstalk with pericytes and neural cells mediates the acquisition of specialized properties, such as the formation of tight junctions (TJs), in brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs). TJs limit the paracellular passage of solutes, thereby regulating CNS homeostasis. However, the mechanisms by which NVU cells communicate to mediate TJ formation remains a mystery. Retinoic acid (RA), a key signaling molecule during vertebrate embryonic development, is commonly used to enhance functional barrier properties in in vitro BBB models. However, its physiological relevance and affected pathways are not fully understood. Overall design: induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived brain microvascular endothelial-like cells, from healthy controls, POR-deficient patients and POR mutated lines . Each line was differentiated with 0, 0.25, 1, 10 uM of all-trans retinoic acd (RA), in triplicates . These triplicates include 2 technical duplicates and an one additional biological replicate.
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:<h4>Introduction</h4>Perampanel is a highly selective and noncompetitive ?-amino-3 -hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate receptor (AMPAR) antagonist, which has been used as an orally administered antiepileptic drug in more than 55 countries. Recently, perampanel was shown to exert neuroprotective effects in hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke models via regulating blood-brain barrier (BBB) function.<h4>Aim</h4>Here, the protective effects of perampanel were investigated in an in vitro neurovascular unit (NVU) system established using a triple cell co-culture model (neurons, astrocytes, and brain microvascular endothelial cells) and in an in vivo traumatic brain injury (TBI) model.<h4>Results</h4>Neurons in the NVU system exhibit a more mature morphological phenotype compared with neurons cultured alone, and the co-culture system mimicked an impermeable barrier in vitro. Perampanel protects the NVU system against traumatic and excitotoxic injury, as evidenced by reduced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and apoptotic rate. Treatment with perampanel attenuated lipid peroxidation and expression of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, perampanel increased Sirt3 protein expression, enhanced the activities of mitochondrial enzyme IDH2 and SOD2, and preserved BBB function in vitro. Knockdown of Sirt3 using specific siRNA (Si-Sirt3) partially reserved the effects of perampanel on neuronal injury and BBB function. Treatment with perampanel in vivo attenuated brain edema, preserved neurological function, inhibited apoptosis and microglia activation after TBI. Furthermore, perampanel increased the expression of Sirt3 and preserved BBB function after TBI. The effect of perampanel on BBB function and brain edema was abolished by knockdown of Sirt3 in vivo.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results indicate that the noncompetitive AMPAR antagonist perampanel protects the NVU system and reduces brain damage after TBI via activating the Sirt3 cascades.
Project description: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:Diabetes increases the risk and worsens the progression of cognitive impairment via the greater occurrence of small vessel disease and stroke. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. It is now accepted that cardiovascular health is critical for brain health and any neurorestorative approaches to prevent/delay cognitive deficits should target the conceptual neurovascular unit (NVU) rather than neurons alone. We have recently shown that there is augmented hippocampal NVU remodeling after a remote ischemic injury in diabetes. NLRP3 inflammasome signaling has been implicated in the development of diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, but little is known about the impact of NLRP3 activation on functional and structural interaction within the NVU of hippocampus, a critical part of the brain that is involved in forming, organizing, and storing memories. Endothelial cells are at the center of the NVU and produce trophic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) contributing to neuronal survival, known as vasotrophic coupling. Therefore, the aims of this study focused on two hypotheses: 1) diabetes negatively impacts hippocampal NVU remodeling and worsens cognitive outcome after stroke, and 2) NLRP3 inhibition with MCC950 will improve NVU remodeling and cognitive outcome following stroke via vasotrophic (un)coupling between endothelial cells and hippocampal neurons. Stroke was induced through a 90-min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in control and high-fat diet/streptozotocin-induced (HFD/STZ) diabetic male Wistar rats. Saline or MCC950 (3?mg/kg), an inhibitor of NLRP3, was injected at 1 and 3?h after reperfusion. Cognition was assessed over time and neuronal density, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability as well as NVU remodeling (aquaporin-4 [AQP4] polarity) was measured on day 14 after stroke. BDNF was measured in endothelial and hippocampal neuronal cultures under hypoxic and diabetes-mimicking condition with and without NLRP3 inhibition. Diabetes increased neuronal degeneration and BBB permeability, disrupted AQP4 polarity, impaired cognitive function and amplified NLRP3 activation after ischemia. Inhibition with MCC950 improved cognitive function and vascular integrity after stroke in diabetic animals and prevented hypoxia-mediated decrease in BDNF secretion. These results are the first to provide essential data showing MCC950 has the potential to become a therapeutic to prevent neurovascular remodeling and worsened cognitive decline in diabetic patients following stroke.
Project description:The L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1, SLC7A5) transports essential amino acids across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and into cancer cells. To utilize LAT1 for drug delivery, potent amino acid promoieties are desired, as prodrugs must compete with millimolar concentrations of endogenous amino acids. To better understand ligand-transporter interactions that could improve potency, we developed structural LAT1 models to guide the design of substituted analogues of phenylalanine and histidine. Furthermore, we evaluated the structure-activity relationship (SAR) for both enantiomers of naturally occurring LAT1 substrates. Analogues were tested in cis-inhibition and trans-stimulation cell assays to determine potency and uptake rate. Surprisingly, LAT1 can transport amino acid-like substrates with wide-ranging polarities including those containing ionizable substituents. Additionally, the rate of LAT1 transport was generally nonstereoselective even though enantiomers likely exhibit different binding modes. Our findings have broad implications to the development of new treatments for brain disorders and cancer.