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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence for pore-like opening of the blood-brain barrier following forebrain ischemia in rats.

The nature of the delayed blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening that occurs in rats subjected to forebrain ischemia by the technique of two-vessel (carotid) occlusion plus hypovolemic hypotension (2VO ischemia) was probed by examining the simultaneous, trans-barrier movement of two hydrophilic, normally poorly permeative solutes of markedly different molecular size: sucrose (MW = 342) and inulin (MW approximately 5000). Pentobarbital-anesthetized, male, Sprague-Dawley rats (342-374 g) were subjected to 10 min of 2VO ischemia (tympanic temperature, 37.5-38.0 degrees C); 6 h later they were reanesthetized and, along with non-ischemic controls, injected i.v. with [14C]sucrose and [3H]inulin. Transfer constants ( Kis) for blood-to-brain movement of the tracers and Vis (apparent initial volumes of tracer distribution) were determined for six brain regions by the multiple-time, graphical method (tracer circulation times from 3 to 30 min). Vis differed little or insignificantly between the two tracers, or between control and post-ischemic rats; the values did not suggest appreciable endothelial binding of either tracer that might lead to its uptake by adsorptive-phase endocytosis. In the controls, regional Kis +/- S.E.M. (nl g(-1) s(-1)) for inulin ranged from 0.18 +/- 0.04 to 0.31 +/- 0.09 and were significantly lower (P < 0.01) than Kis for sucrose (1.53 +/- 0.16-1.91 +/- 0.29). The Ki ratio (sucrose/inulin) across brain regions (mean, 6.6; S.E.M., 0.6) was much lower than would be expected according to the concept that movement of most organic non-electrolytes across the intact BBB occurs by dissolution in and diffusion through endothelial cell plasma membranes, at a rate proportional to the lipid solubility and diffusivity of the solute. This finding is interpreted as indicating that a portion of the transfer of sucrose and inulin occurred by a mechanism other than dissolution-diffusion (e.g., via pores or vesicles). In the post-ischemic rats, Kis for both tracers were elevated significantly (P < 0.01) in parietal cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and midbrain. The post-ischemic increases (delta Kis) in these regions were greater for sucrose (1.90-3.31 nl g(-1) s(-1)) than for inulin (0.80-1.33). Across brain regions the ratio between sucrose delta Ki and inulin delta Ki averaged 2.9 (S.E.M., 0.2), a value significantly greater than the ratio of 1 that would be expected were the BBB opening due to an enhancement of micropinocytosis and vesicular transport. The correspondence of the mean delta Ki ratio with the ratio of the free diffusion coefficients of the tracers (D(f, suc)/D(f, inu) = 2.9; water, 38 degrees C) suggests that the delayed opening of the BBB following 2VO ischemia involves the formation of trans- or paracellular, aqueous pores or channels.[1]


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