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Neuroscience. 2010 Mar 17;166(2):408-15. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

Potentiating effect of endothelial cells on astrocytic plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 gene expression in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.


There is accumulating evidence of the importance of cellular communication between the cells that compose the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Astrocytes are known to affect the expression of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and its inhibitor plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) in endothelial cells. We investigated the influence of endothelial cells on astrocytic gene expression of PAI-1, protease nexin-1 (PN-1) and t-PA using an in vitro model of the BBB. Primary rat astrocyte-enriched cultures were cocultured with primary adult rat brain microvascular endothelial cells on opposite sides of a transwell membrane. After coculturing for 9-11 days, the cultures were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 8 h or 24 h. The levels of PAI-1, PN-1 and t-PA mRNA in untreated and treated monocultures and cocultures were analyzed by Real-Time RT-PCR. Cocultivation of astrocytes and endothelial cells increased astrocytic PAI-1 mRNA expression, and this response was further amplified by LPS treatment. The levels of PN-1 and t-PA mRNA expression in astrocytes were unaffected by cocultivation and/or LPS treatment. Analysis of endothelial PAI-1 and t-PA gene expression revealed increased PAI-1 mRNA levels in cocultured cells, whereas t-PA mRNA levels remained unchanged. These results demonstrate that the cocultivation of astrocytes and endothelial cells induces a pronounced increase in astrocytic PAI-1 gene expression, and that this effect is amplified by LPS treatment. These findings imply an important role for intercellular crosstalk in modulating PAI-1 gene expression within the BBB, under both physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions.

Copyright (c) 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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