Apolipoprotein M-bound sphingosine-1-phosphate regulates blood-brain barrier paracellular permeability and transcytosis.
ABSTRACT: 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 (Apom-/-). 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 Apom-/- mice. Vesicle-mediated transfer of albumin in arterioles increased 3 to 10-fold in Apom-/- mice, whereas transcytosis in capillaries and venules remained unchanged. The S1P receptor 1 agonist SEW2871 rapidly normalized paracellular BBB permeability in Apom-/- 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: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:Apolipoprotein M (ApoM) transports sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in plasma, and ApoM-deficient mice (Apom(-/-)) have ?50% reduced plasma S1P levels. There are 5 known S1P receptors, and S1P induces adherens junction formation between endothelial cells through the S1P1 receptor, which in turn suppresses vascular leak. Increased vascular permeability is a hallmark of inflammation. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between vascular leakage in ApoM deficiency and S1P1 function in normal physiology and in inflammation. Vascular permeability in the lungs was assessed by accumulation of dextran molecules (70 kDa) and was increased ?40% in Apom(-/-) mice compared to WT (C57Bl6/j) mice. Reconstitution of plasma ApoM/S1P or treatment with an S1P1 receptor agonist (SEW2871) rapidly reversed the vascular leakage to a level similar to that in WT mice, suggesting that it is caused by decreased plasma levels of S1P and reduced S1P1 stimulation. In a carrageenan-induced model of inflammation, Apom(-/-) mice had increased vascular leakage compared with that in WT mice. Adenoviral overexpression of ApoM in Apom(-/-) mice decreased the vascular leakage compared to adenoviral overexpression of green fluorescent protein. The study suggests that vascular leakage of albumin-sized particles in ApoM deficiency is S1P- and S1P1-dependent and this dependency exacerbates the response to inflammatory stimuli.-Christensen, P. M., Liu, C. H., Swendeman, S. L., Obinata, H., Qvortrup, K., Nielsen, L B., Hla, T., Di Lorenzo, A., Christoffersen, C. Impaired endothelial barrier function in apolipoprotein M-deficient mice is dependent on sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1.
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:Culture-based blood-brain barrier (BBB) models are crucial tools to enable rapid screening of brain-penetrating drugs. However, reproducibility of in vitro barrier properties and permeability remain as major challenges. Here, we report that self-assembling multicellular BBB spheroids display reproducible BBB features and functions. The spheroid core is comprised mainly of astrocytes, while brain endothelial cells and pericytes encase the surface, acting as a barrier that regulates transport of molecules. The spheroid surface exhibits high expression of tight junction proteins, VEGF-dependent permeability, efflux pump activity and receptor-mediated transcytosis of angiopep-2. In contrast, the transwell co-culture system displays comparatively low levels of BBB regulatory proteins, and is unable to discriminate between the transport of angiopep-2 and a control peptide. Finally, we have utilized the BBB spheroids to screen and identify BBB-penetrant cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). This robust in vitro BBB model could serve as a valuable next-generation platform for expediting the development of CNS therapeutics.
Project description:Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) impairs endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-dependent responses of cerebral arterioles. However, the influence of T1D on another critical aspect of endothelial cell function in the cerebral microcirculation, i.e., regulation of permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), remains largely unknown. Our goal was to examine basal and agonist-induced changes in permeability of the BBB in nondiabetic and type 1 diabetic (streptozotocin; 50 mg/kg IP) rats. On the day of the experiment (2-3 months after streptozotocin), a craniotomy was made over the parietal cortex in nondiabetic and diabetic rats. We measured the permeability of the BBB (FITC-dextran-10K) under basal conditions and during application of histamine. We also measured diameter of cerebral arterioles in response to histamine in the absence and presence of NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA). We found that basal permeability of the BBB was elevated in T1D and application of histamine did not produce a further increase in permeability. In contrast, basal permeability of the BBB was minimal in nondiabetics and histamine produced an increase in permeability. In addition, histamine-induced arteriolar dilation was less in diabetics than in nondiabetics, and vasodilation to histamine was inhibited by L-NMMA. Our findings suggest that T1D-induced endothelial dysfunction leads to an increase in basal permeability of the BBB, but decreases the ability of the endothelium of the BBB to respond to an important inflammatory mediator. Thus, T1D impairs two critical aspects of endothelial cell function in the cerebral microcirculation, i.e., basal and agonist-induced changes in permeability of the BBB and arteriolar dilation.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:Damage of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) increases the incidence of neurovascular complications, especially for cerebral hemorrhage after tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) therapy. Currently, there is no effective method to evaluate the extent of BBB damage to guide tPA use. Herein, we investigated whether blood levels of tight junction proteins could serve as biomarker of BBB damages in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in both rats and patients. We examined whether this biomarker could reflect the extent of BBB permeability during cerebral ischemia/reperfusion and the effects of normobaric hyperoxia (NBO) on BBB damage. METHODS:Rats were exposed to NBO (100% O2) or normoxia (21% O2) during middle cerebral artery occlusion. BBB permeability was determined. Occludin and claudin-5 in blood and cerebromicrovessels were measured. Patients with AIS were assigned to oxygen therapy or room air for 4 hours, and blood occludin and claudin-5 were measured at different time points after stroke. RESULTS:Cerebral ischemia/reperfusion resulted in the degradation of occludin and claudin-5 in microvessels, leading to increased BBB permeability in rats. In blood samples, occludin increased with 4-hour ischemia and remained elevated during reperfusion, correlating well with its loss from ischemic cerebral microvessels. NBO treatment both prevented occludin degradation in microvessels and reduced occludin levels in blood, leading to improved neurological functions in rats. In patients with AIS receiving intravenous tPA thrombolysis, the blood occludin was already elevated when patients arrived at hospital (within 4.5 hours since symptoms appeared) and remained at a high level for 72 hours. NBO significantly lowered the level of blood occludin and improved neurological functions in patients with AIS. CONCLUSIONS:Blood occludin may be a clinically viable biomarker for evaluating BBB damage during ischemia/reperfusion. NBO therapy has the potential to reduce blood occludin, protect BBB, and improve outcome in AIS patients with intravenous tPA thrombolysis. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION:URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02974283.
Project description:Endothelial dysfunction, a hallmark of vascular disease, is restored by plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL). However, a generalized increase in HDL abundance is not beneficial, suggesting that specific HDL species mediate protective effects. Apolipoprotein M-containing HDL (ApoM+HDL), which carries the bioactive lipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), promotes endothelial function by activating G protein-coupled S1P receptors. Moreover, HDL-bound S1P is limiting in several inflammatory, metabolic, and vascular diseases. We report the development of a soluble carrier for S1P, ApoM-Fc, which activated S1P receptors in a sustained manner and promoted endothelial function. In contrast, ApoM-Fc did not modulate circulating lymphocyte numbers, suggesting that it specifically activated endothelial S1P receptors. ApoM-Fc administration reduced blood pressure in hypertensive mice, attenuated myocardial damage after ischemia/reperfusion injury, and reduced brain infarct volume in the middle cerebral artery occlusion model of stroke. Our proof-of-concept study suggests that selective and sustained targeting of endothelial S1P receptors by ApoM-Fc could be a viable therapeutic strategy in vascular diseases.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) allows the brain to selectively import nutrients and energy critical to neuronal function while simultaneously excluding neurotoxic substances from the peripheral circulation. In contrast to the highly permeable vasculature present in most organs that reside outside of the central nervous system (CNS), the BBB exhibits a high transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) along with a low rate of transcytosis and greatly restricted paracellular permeability. The property of low paracellular permeability is controlled by tight junction (TJ) protein complexes that seal the paracellular route between apposing brain microvascular endothelial cells. Although tight junction protein complexes are principal contributors to physical barrier properties, they are not static in nature. Rather, tight junction protein complexes are highly dynamic structures, where expression and/or localization of individual constituent proteins can be modified in response to pathophysiological stressors. These stressors induce modifications to tight junction protein complexes that involve de novo synthesis of new protein or discrete trafficking mechanisms. Such responsiveness of BBB tight junctions to diseases indicates that these protein complexes are critical for maintenance of CNS homeostasis. In fulfillment of this vital role, BBB tight junctions are also a major obstacle to therapeutic drug delivery to the brain. There is an opportunity to overcome this substantial obstacle and optimize neuropharmacology via acquisition of a detailed understanding of BBB tight junction structure, function, and regulation. In this review, we discuss physiological characteristics of tight junction protein complexes and how these properties regulate delivery of therapeutics to the CNS for treatment of neurological diseases. Specifically, we will discuss modulation of tight junction structure, function, and regulation both in the context of disease states and in the setting of pharmacotherapy. In particular, we will highlight how these properties can be potentially manipulated at the molecular level to increase CNS drug levels via paracellular transport to the brain.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increased extracellular histones in the bloodstream are known as a biomarker for vascular dysfunction associated with severe trauma or sepsis. There is limited information regarding the pathogenic role of circulating histones in neuroinflammation and cerebrovascular endothelial injury. Particularly, it remains unclear whether histones affect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability function. METHODS:The direct effects of unfractionated histones on endothelial barrier properties were first assessed in brain microvascular endothelial cell monolayers by measuring transendothelial electrical resistance and solute flux. This was followed by in vivo mouse experiments, where BBB function was assessed by quantifying brain tissue accumulation of intravenously injected tracers of different molecular sizes, and comparison was made in mice receiving a sublethal dose of histones versus sterile saline. In parallel, the endothelial barrier ultrastructure was examined in histone- and saline-injected animals under transmission electron microscopy, corresponding to the expression of tight junction and adherens junction proteins. RESULTS:Histones increased paracellular permeability to sodium fluorescein and reduced barrier resistance at 100 ?g/mL; these responses were accompanied by discontinuous staining of the tight junction proteins claudin-5 and zona ocludens-1. Interestingly, the effects of histones did not seem to result from cytotoxicity, as evidenced by negative propidium iodide staining. In vivo, histones increased the paracellular permeability of the BBB to small tracers of < 1-kDa, whereas tracers larger than 3-kDa remained impermeable across brain microvessels. Further analysis of different brain regions showed that histone-induced tracer leakage and loss of tight junction protein expression mainly occurred in the hippocampus, but not in the cerebral cortex. Consistently, opening of tight junctions was found in hippocampal capillaries from histone-injected animals. Protein expression levels of GFAP and iBA1 remained unchanged in histone-injected mice indicating that histones did not affect reactive gliosis. Moreover, cell membrane surface charge alterations are involved in histone-induced barrier dysfunction and tight junction disruption. CONCLUSIONS:Extracellular histones cause a reversible, region-specific increase in BBB permeability to small molecules by disrupting tight junctions in the hippocampus. We suggest that circulating histones may contribute to cerebrovascular injury or brain dysfunction by altering BBB structure and function.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection causes severe neurological symptoms in adults and fetal microcephaly and the virus is detected in the brain of microcephaly and meningoencephalitis patient. However, the mechanism of ZIKV crossing the physiological barrier to the central nervous systems (CNS) remains elusive. The placental barrier and the blood brain barrier (BBB) protect the fetus from pathogens and ensure healthy brain development during pregnancy. In this study, we used human placenta trophoblasts cells (JEG-3) and human brain-derived endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3) as in vitro models of the physiological barriers. Results showed that ZIKV could infect JEG-3 cells effectively and reduce the amounts of ZO-1 and occludin between adjacent cells by the proteasomal degradation pathway, suggesting that the permeability of the barrier differentially changed in response to ZIKV infection, allowing the virus particle to cross the host barrier. In contrast, ZIKV could infect hCMEC/D3 cells without disrupting the BBB barrier permeability and tight junction protein expression. Although no disruption to the BBB was observed during ZIKV infection, ZIKV particles were released on the basal side of the BBB model and infected underlying cells. In addition, we observed that fluorescence-labeled ZIKV particles could cross the in vitro placenta barrier and BBB model by transcytosis and the action of transcytosis could be blocked by either low temperature or pharmacological inhibitors of endocytosis. In summary, the ZIKV uses a cell-type specific paracellular pathway to cross the placenta monolayer barrier by disrupting cellular tight junction. In addition, the ZIKV can also cross both the placenta barrier and the BBB by transcytosis. Our study provided new insights into on the mechanism of the cellular barrier penetration of ZIKV particles.