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J Drug Target. 2000;8(6):357-70.

mRna expression and transport characterization of conditionally immortalized rat brain capillary endothelial cell lines; a new in vitro BBB model for drug targeting.

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Department of Molecular Biopharmacy and Genetics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578, Japan.


Brain capillary endothelial cell lines (TR-BBB) were established from a recently developed transgenic rat harboring temperature-sensitive simian virus 40 (ts SV 40) large T-antigen gene (Tg rat) and used to characterize the endothelial marker, transport activity, and mRNA expression of transporters and tight-junction strand proteins at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). These cell lines expressed active large T-antigen and grew well at 33 degrees C with a doubling-time of about 22-31 hr, but did not grow at 39 degrees C. TR-BBBs expressed the typical endothelial marker, von Willebrand factor, and exhibited acetylated low-density lipoprotein uptake activity. Although the gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase activity in TR-BBBs was approximately 13% of that of the brain capillary fraction of a normal rat, it was localized in the apical side, suggesting that it reflects the functional polarity of the in vivo BBB. The mRNA of tight-junction strand proteins such as claudine-5, occludin, and junctional adhesion molecule are expressed in TR-BBB13. Drug efflux transporter, P-glycoprotein, with a molecular weight of 170 kDa was expressed in all TR-BBBs and mdr 1a, mdr 1b, and mdr 2 mRNA were detected in TR-BBBs using RT-PCR. Moreover, mrp1 mRNA was expressed in all TR-BBBs. Influx transporter, GLUT-1, expressed at 55 kDa was revealed by Western blot analysis. It had 3-O-methyl-D-glucose (3-OMG) uptake activity which was concentration-dependent with a Michaelis-Menten constant of 9.86 +/- 1.20 mM. The mRNA of large neutral amino acid transporter, which consists of LAT-1 and 4F2hc was expressed in TR-BBBs. In conclusion, the conditionally immortalized rat brain capillary endothelial cell lines (TR-BBB) had endothelial makers, expressed mRNA for tight-junction strand proteins and the influx and efflux transporters and produced GLUT-1, which is capable of 3-OMG transport activity.

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