MMP-mediated disruption of claudin-5 in the blood-brain barrier of rat brain after cerebral ischemia

Yi Yang, Gary A Rosenberg
Methods in Molecular Biology 2011, 762: 333-45
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) has become a major focus of attention in cerebral pathophysiology and disease progression in the central nervous system. Endothelial tight junctions, the basal lamina, and perivascular astrocytes are jointly referred to as BBB or neurovascular unit. Around the cerebral endothelial cells is the basal lamina composed primarily of laminin, fibronectin, and heparan sulfate. The basal lamina provides a structural barrier to extravasation of cellular blood elements and anchors endothelial cells to astrocytes. Barriers limiting transport into and out of the brain are found at the tight junction proteins and at the basal lamina. The relative contribution of these two sites has not been studied, but it is likely that both are disrupted to some extent in various injury scenarios. We have shown that activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) opens the BBB by degrading tight junction proteins (claudin-5 and occludin) and increases BBB permeability after stroke, and that an MMP inhibitor prevents degradation of tight junction proteins and attenuates BBB disruption.

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