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Brain Res. 2000 Sep 29;878(1-2):127-35.

Immunological targeting of the endothelial barrier antigen (EBA) in vivo leads to opening of the blood-brain barrier.

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Department of Anatomical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia.


The role of the endothelial barrier antigen (EBA) in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of the rat is not fully understood. Pathological conditions which show BBB disruption and leakage of plasma proteins are associated with reduced EBA expression in brain endothelial cells (ECs). However, it is not known if the reduction in EBA is the primary event or is secondary to protein extravasation. We hypothesized that immunological targeting of EBA in vivo would lead to opening of the BBB. To test this hypothesis, a monoclonal antibody (anti-EBA) was intravenously injected in anaesthetized experimental rats. Control animals received intravenous injections of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or non-specific antibodies (anti-human cytokeratin, anti-Salmonella bacterial antigen, or anti-pan endothelial cell antigen). Two groups of rats were used, each included experimental and control animals. The first group was used for immunocytochemical detection of EBA in brain ECs and rat albumin in brain parenchyma. In the second group, the permeability of the BBB to horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was tested. Experimental animals, injected with anti-EBA antibody, showed extensive leakage of HRP and albumin in the grey and white matter of the brain. Immunocytochemistry of experimental brains showed that the intravenously injected anti-EBA became bound to ECs and was detected in tissue sections. Control animals did not show leakage of HRP or albumin, and EBA distribution was normal. This study demonstrated for the first time, that immunological 'neutralisation' of EBA leads to opening of the BBB, and provided direct evidence for the importance of EBA in maintaining the integrity of the BBB in the rat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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