Brain pericytes from stress-susceptible pigs increase blood-brain barrier permeability in vitro. - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Fluids and Barriers of the CNS Year : 2012

Brain pericytes from stress-susceptible pigs increase blood-brain barrier permeability in vitro.

Catherine Godfraind
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  • PersonId : 927173
Michel Franck
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  • PersonId : 927174


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The function of pericytes remains questionable but with improved cultured technique and the use of genetically modified animals, it has become increasingly clear that pericytes are an integral part of blood-brain barrier (BBB) function, and the involvement of pericyte dysfunction in certain cerebrovascular diseases is now emerging. The porcine stress syndrome (PSS) is the only confirmed, homologous model of malignant hyperthermia (MH) in veterinary medicine. Affected animals can experience upon slaughter a range of symptoms, including skeletal muscle rigidity, metabolic acidosis, tachycardia and fever, similar to the human syndrome. Symptoms are due to an enhanced calcium release from intracellular stores. These conditions are associated with a point mutation in ryr1/hal gene, encoding the ryanodine receptor, a calcium channel. Important blood vessel wall muscle modifications have been described in PSS, but potential brain vessel changes have never been documented in this syndrome. METHODS: In the present work, histological and ultrastructural analyses of brain capillaries from wild type and ryr1 mutated pigs were conducted to investigate the potential impairment of pericytes, in this pathology. In addition, brain pericytes were isolated from the three porcine genotypes (wild-type NN pigs; Nn and nn pigs, bearing one or two (n) mutant ryr1/hal alleles, respectively), and tested in vitro for their influence on the permeability of BBB endothelial monolayers. RESULTS: Enlarged perivascular spaces were observed in ryr1-mutant samples, corresponding to a partial or total detachment of the astrocytic endfeet. These spaces were electron lucent and sometimes filled with lipid deposits and swollen astrocytic feet. At the ultrastructural level, brain pericytes did not seem to be affected because they showed regular morphology and characteristics, so we aimed to check their ability to maintain BBB properties in vitro. Our results indicated that pericytes from the three genotypes of pigs had differing influences on the BBB. Unlike pericytes from NN pigs, pericytes from Nn and nn pigs were not able to maintain low BBB permeability. CONCLUSIONS: Electron microscopy observations demonstrated brain capillary modifications in PSS condition, but no change in pericyte morphology. Results from in vitro experiments suggest that brain pericytes from ryr1 mutated pigs, even if they are not affected by this condition at the ultrastructural level, are not able to maintain BBB integrity in comparison with pericytes from wild-type animals.
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inserm-00714318 , version 1 (04-07-2012)



Elodie Vandenhaute, Maxime Culot, Fabien Gosselet, Lucie Dehouck, Catherine Godfraind, et al.. Brain pericytes from stress-susceptible pigs increase blood-brain barrier permeability in vitro.. Fluids and Barriers of the CNS, 2012, 9 (1), pp.11. ⟨10.1186/2045-8118-9-11⟩. ⟨inserm-00714318⟩
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