open access

Vol 42, No 2 (2004)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2004-07-16
Submitted: 2011-12-19
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Molecular anatomy of interendothelial junctions in human blood-brain barrier microvessels.

Andrzej W Vorbrodt, Danuta H Dobrogowska
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2004;42(2):67-75.

open access

Vol 42, No 2 (2004)
ORIGINAL PAPERS
Published online: 2004-07-16
Submitted: 2011-12-19

Abstract

Immunogold cytochemical procedure was used to study the localization at the ultrastructural level of interendothelial junction-associated protein molecules in the human brain blood microvessels, representing the anatomic site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Ultrathin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex obtained during surgical procedures were exposed to specific antibodies, followed by colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibodies. All tight junction-specific integral membrane (transmembrane) proteins--occludin, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM-1), and claudin-5--as well as peripheral zonula occludens protein (ZO-1) were highly expressed. Immunoreactivity of the adherens junction-specific transmembrane protein VE-cadherin was of almost similar intensity. Immunolabeling of the adherens junction-associated peripheral proteins--alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120 catenin--although positive, was evidently less intense. The expression of gamma-catenin (plakoglobin) was considered questionable because solitary immunosignals (gold particles) appeared in only a few microvascular profiles. Double labeling of some sections made possible to observe strict colocalization of the junctional molecules, such as occludin and ZO-1 or JAM-1 and VE-cadherin, in the interendothelial junctions. We found that in human brain microvessels, the interendothelial junctional complexes contain molecular components specific for both tight and adherens junctions. It is assumed that the data obtained can help us find the immunodetectable junctional molecules that can serve as sensitive markers of normal or abnormal function of the BBB.

Abstract

Immunogold cytochemical procedure was used to study the localization at the ultrastructural level of interendothelial junction-associated protein molecules in the human brain blood microvessels, representing the anatomic site of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Ultrathin sections of Lowicryl K4M-embedded biopsy specimens of human cerebral cortex obtained during surgical procedures were exposed to specific antibodies, followed by colloidal gold-labeled secondary antibodies. All tight junction-specific integral membrane (transmembrane) proteins--occludin, junctional adhesion molecule (JAM-1), and claudin-5--as well as peripheral zonula occludens protein (ZO-1) were highly expressed. Immunoreactivity of the adherens junction-specific transmembrane protein VE-cadherin was of almost similar intensity. Immunolabeling of the adherens junction-associated peripheral proteins--alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120 catenin--although positive, was evidently less intense. The expression of gamma-catenin (plakoglobin) was considered questionable because solitary immunosignals (gold particles) appeared in only a few microvascular profiles. Double labeling of some sections made possible to observe strict colocalization of the junctional molecules, such as occludin and ZO-1 or JAM-1 and VE-cadherin, in the interendothelial junctions. We found that in human brain microvessels, the interendothelial junctional complexes contain molecular components specific for both tight and adherens junctions. It is assumed that the data obtained can help us find the immunodetectable junctional molecules that can serve as sensitive markers of normal or abnormal function of the BBB.
Get Citation
About this article
Title

Molecular anatomy of interendothelial junctions in human blood-brain barrier microvessels.

Journal

Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica

Issue

Vol 42, No 2 (2004)

Pages

67-75

Published online

2004-07-16

Bibliographic record

Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2004;42(2):67-75.

Authors

Andrzej W Vorbrodt
Danuta H Dobrogowska

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