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Tumor Cell Mechanosensing During Incorporation into the Brain Microvascular Endothelium.

Tumor metastasis to the brain occurs in approximately 20% of all cancer cases and often occurs due to tumor cells crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The brain microenvironment is comprised of a soft hyaluronic acid (HA)-rich extracellular matrix with an elastic modulus of 0.1-1 kPa, whose crosslinking is often altered in disease states.

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Fc-saxatilin inhibits VEGF-induced permeability by regulating claudin-5 expression in human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

The disruption of the blood-brain barrier influences the degree of brain damage and prognosis in cerebral ischemia or other brain diseases accompanied by inflammation. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) released during brain ischemia or inflammation has been implicated in the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier by increasing endothelial permeability. Saxatilin, a disintegrin-containing RGD motif, has been reported to disaggregate platelets via interactions with platelet integrins and to have a thrombolysis effect. Additionally, the Fc-saxatilin fusion protein reduces vascular leakage in cerebral ischemia in mice. In this study, we show that Fc-saxatilin prevents VEGF-induced permeability in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). The activation of Src and Fak, downstream signaling proteins of VEGF in the induction of endothelial permeability, was inhibited by Fc-saxatilin in HBMECs. The downregulation of a tight junction protein, claudin-5, at the protein and mRNA levels by VEGF was recovered by Fc-saxatilin. Our findings suggest that Fc-saxatilin attenuates VEGF-induced endothelial permeability via the regulation of downstream signaling, and this may contribute to its protective effect against vascular leakage in the ischemic brain.

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Polarized hemichannel opening of pannexin 1/connexin 43 contributes to dysregulation of transport function in blood-brain barrier endothelial cells.

Dysregulation of blood-brain barrier (BBB) transport exacerbates brain damage in acute ischemic stroke. Here, we aimed to investigate the mechanism of this BBB transport dysregulation by studying the localization and function of pannexin (Px) and connexin (Cx) hemichannels in blood-brain barrier endothelial cells of rat (TR-BBB13 cells) and human (hCMEC/D3 cells) under acute ischemic stroke-mimicking oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD) and extracellular Ca ([Ca])-free conditions. TR-BBB13 cells showed increased uptake of hemichannel-permeable sulforhodamine 101, and this increase was markedly inhibited by carbenoxolone, a hemichannel inhibitor. Transcripts of Px1 and Cx43 were detected in TR-BBB13 cells and freshly isolated brain microvascular endothelial cells. The basal-compartment-to-cell uptake of hemichannel-permeable propidium iodide was selectively enhanced in hCMEC/D3 cells under [Ca]-free conditions in the basal Transwell chamber. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed the predominant localization of Cx43 on the lateral membranes of hCMEC/D3 cells. [H]Taurine uptake by hCMEC/D3 cells was significantly reduced in the absence of [Ca]. Functional knock-down of Px1 and Cx43 with mimetic peptides significantly inhibited the increase of ATP release from hCMEC/D3 cells under [Ca]-free conditions. These results suggest that polarized Px1/Cx43 hemichannel opening in brain capillary endothelial cells under acute ischemic stroke-mimicking conditions contributes to dysregulation of BBB transport function, resulting in release of intracellular taurine and ATP.

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5-(Hydroxyphenyl)-γ-Valerolactone-Sulfate, a Key Microbial Metabolite of Flavan-3-ols, Is Able to Reach the Brain: Evidence from Different in , In Vitro and In Vivo Experimental Models.

Phenolic compounds have been recognized as promising compounds for the prevention of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative ones. However, phenolics like flavan-3-ols (F3O) are poorly absorbed along the gastrointestinal tract and structurally rearranged by gut microbiota, yielding smaller and more polar metabolites like phenyl-γ-valerolactones, phenylvaleric acids and their conjugates. The present work investigated the ability of F3O-derived metabolites to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), by linking five experimental models with increasing realism. First, an in silico study examined the physical-chemical characteristics of F3O metabolites to predict those most likely to cross the BBB. Some of these metabolites were then tested at physiological concentrations to cross the luminal and abluminal membranes of brain microvascular endothelial cells, cultured in vitro. Finally, three different in vivo studies in rats injected with pure 5-(3',4'-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone, and rats and pigs fed grapes or a F3O-rich cocoa extract, respectively, confirmed the presence of 5-(hydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone-sulfate (3',4' isomer) in the brain. This work highlighted, with different experimental models, the BBB permeability of one of the main F3O-derived metabolites. It may support the neuroprotective effects of phenolic-rich foods in the frame of the "gut-brain axis".

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Real- time interaction analysis of Shiga toxins and membrane microdomains of primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

Infections of the human intestinal tract with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) result in massive extraintestinal complications due to translocation of EHEC-released Shiga toxins (Stxs) from the gut into the circulation. Stx-mediated damage of the cerebral microvasculature raises serious brain dysfunction being the most frequent cause of acute mortality in patients suffering from severe EHEC infections. Stx2a and Stx2e are associated with heavy and mild course of infection, respectively. Stx2a preferentially binds to globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer), while Stx2e prefers globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer). Both glycosphingolipids (GSLs) were detected in detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) of primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells (pHBMECs) resembling microdomains of the plasma membrane. In this study we show that Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer of pHBMECs with saturated C16:0, C22:0, and C24:0 fatty acids dominated in DRMs, corresponding to the liquid-ordered membrane phase, whereas lipoforms carrying unsaturated C24:1 and C24:2 fatty acids prevailed in the nonDRM fractions, which correspond to the liquid-disordered membrane phase. Similarly, a shift of the phospholipids from saturated lipoforms in the DRM to unsaturated species in the nonDRM fractions was observed. Real-time biomolecular interaction analysis using affinity-purified Stx2a and Stx2e, recorded with a surface acoustic wave (SAW) biosensor, evidenced high binding strength of both toxins towards DRMs and failure in interaction with nonDRMs. These results support the hypothesis of preferential binding of Stxs towards microdomains harbouring GSL receptors carrying saturated fatty acids in their lipid anchors. Collectively, unravelling the precise mechanisms of Stx-microdomain interaction may help to develop antiadhesive compounds to combat Stx-mediated cellular injury.

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Association of Acute, High-dose Cadmium Exposure with Alterations in Vascular Endothelial Barrier Antigen Expression and Astrocyte Morphology in the Developing Rat Central Nervous System.

Clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated the neurotoxic and behavioural effects of cadmium. However, the exact pathophysiological mechanism(s) of cadmium neurotoxicity on the human central nervous system (CNS) is not completely understood. A rat blood-brain barrier (BBB) endothelial marker, the endothelial barrier antigen (EBA), has been identified and we have shown previously that an anti-EBA IgG1 antibody exclusively recognizes barrier-competent microvessels in the rat CNS and peripheral nervous system (PNS). Endothelial cells of peripheral tissues or brain regions possessing fenestrated microvascular endothelia do not display immunoreactivity for EBA. Here, we describe the application of sequential indirect immunofluorescence with anti-EBA, and an antibody directed against glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), to evaluate the immunoreactivity patterns and morphological alterations in BBB microvessels and astrocytes, following a single, high dose of cadmium in normal, term-delivered young rats. We detected a moderate reduction in immunoreactivity and number of microvessels labelled by the anti-EBA in the forebrain, cerebellum and midbrain in cadmium-exposed rats compared with normal controls. We observed weakly GFAP-reactive astrocytes displaying cell bodies with ill-defined borders and blurred cytoplasm within the white and grey matter of cadmium-exposed brains. The astrocyte nuclei were markedly enlarged, intensely hyperchromatic and exhibited chromatin condensation with nuclear fragmentation. This study indicates for the first time that EBA is involved in, and could serve as a potentially useful marker for studying, cadmium neurotoxicity in the rat model system.

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Zika virus degrades the ω-3 fatty acid transporter Mfsd2a in brain microvascular endothelial cells and impairs lipid homeostasis.

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy increases the risk of postnatal microcephaly. Neurovascular function provides a homeostatic environment for proper brain development. The major facilitator superfamily domain-containing protein 2 (Mfsd2a) is selectively expressed in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) and is the major transporter mediating the brain uptake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We have discovered a pivotal role for Mfsd2a in the pathogenesis of ZIKV. ZIKV disrupted Mfsd2a both in cultured primary hBMECs and in the neonatal mouse brain. ZIKV envelope (E) protein specifically interacted with Mfsd2a and promoted Mfsd2a polyubiquitination for proteasome-dependent degradation. Infection with ZIKV or ectopic expression of ZIKV E impaired Mfsd2a-mediated DHA uptake. Lipidomic analysis revealed obvious differences in DHA-containing lipids after ZIKV infection. Supplementation with DHA rescued ZIKV-caused growth restriction and microcephaly. Our findings suggest endothelial Mfsd2a as an important pathogenic mediator and supplementation with DHA as a potential therapeutic option for ZIKV infection.

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Long Non-Coding RNA MEG3 Promotes Apoptosis of Vascular Cells and is Associated with Poor Prognosis in Ischemic Stroke.

This study focused on the expression pattern of long non-coding RNA maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) and its value in ischemic stroke (IS).

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Neutrophil-Derived Microvesicle Induced Dysfunction of Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells In Vitro.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB), composed of brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC) that are tightly linked by tight junction (TJ) proteins, restricts the movement of molecules between the periphery and the central nervous system. Elevated systemic levels of neutrophils have been detected in patients with altered BBB function, but the role of neutrophils in BMEC dysfunction is unknown. Neutrophils are key players of the immune response and, when activated, produce neutrophil-derived microvesicles (NMV). NMV have been shown to impact the integrity of endothelial cells throughout the body and we hypothesize that NMV released from circulating neutrophils interact with BMEC and induce endothelial cell dysfunction. Therefore, the current study investigated the interaction of NMV with human BMEC and determined whether they altered gene expression and function in vitro. Using flow cytometry and confocal imaging, NMV were shown to be internalized by the human cerebral microvascular endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3 via a variety of energy-dependent mechanisms, including endocytosis and macropinocytosis. The internalization of NMV significantly altered the transcriptomic profile of hCMEC/D3, specifically inducing the dysregulation of genes associated with TJ, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis and vesicular transport. Functional studies confirmed NMV significantly increased permeability and decreased the transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) of a confluent monolayer of hCMEC/D3. These findings indicate that NMV interact with and affect gene expression of BMEC as well as impacting their integrity. We conclude that NMV may play an important role in modulating the permeability of BBB during an infection.

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Downregulation of circRNA DMNT3B contributes to diabetic retinal vascular dysfunction through targeting miR-20b-5p and BAMBI.

Diabetic retinopathy, a vascular complication of diabetes mellitus, is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness. circRNAs act as competing endogenous RNA, sponging target miRNA and thus influencing mRNA expression in vascular diseases. We investigated whether and how circDNMT3B is involved in retinal vascular dysfunction under diabetic conditions.

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