[Disruption of blood brain-barrier by leukemic cells in central nervous system leukemia]

Sa-ran Feng, Zi-xing Chen, Jian-nong Cen, Hong-jie Shen, Yuan-yuan Wang, Li Yao
Zhonghua Xue Ye Xue za Zhi, Zhonghua Xueyexue Zazhi 2011, 32 (5): 289-93

OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of leukemic cells on blood-brain barrier (BBB) in mice with central nervous system leukemia (CNSL) by establishing mice CNSL model and an in vitro BBB model and explore the mechanism of leukemic cell infiltrating central nervous system (CNS).

METHODS: After splenectomy, cytoxan intraperitoneal injection, and sublethal irradiation, 10 BALB/c nu/nu mice were transplanted intravenously with 1.2 × 10(7) of SHI-1 human monocytic leukemic cells. Mice were monitored for survival and clinical manifestation of nerve palsy. The leukemic cells engrafted were examined by RT-PCR, histopathology and bone marrow (BM) smears. Immunofluorescence analysis with laser scanning fluorescence confocal microscopy was used to determine the expression of fibrinogen and tight-junction protein ZO-1. An in vitro BBB model composed of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) was developed on a Matrigel-based insert. Different leukemic cell lines were seeded onto the upper compartment of transwell insert. After incubated for 24 h with BMVECs, cells that had migrated into the lower compartment were counted and analyzed.

RESULTS: (1) Paralysis with or without sight loss was developed in half the mice 30-35 d after innoculated with SHI-1 cells. Leukemic cells infiltrates were observed in BM and in different part of brain tissues including brain parenchyma. The transcriptions of human MLL/AF6 fusion gene were also detected in BM and brain tissues in paralysis mice. The fibrinogen expression and ZO-1 disruption were detected in the infiltrated tissue. (2) After 24 h incubation with leukemic cells, the BMVECs sheets were disrupted and grew singly and ZO-1 expression was down-regulated markedly. SHI-1 cells showed more injurious to BMVECs and higher invasive rate [(40.33 ± 1.53)% vs (11.83 ± 1.44)%, P < 0.05] than HL-60 cells did.

CONCLUSION: One of the mechanisms of leukemic cells infiltrates CNS in CNSL is injure to the BBB.

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