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Microsc Res Tech. 1994 Apr 15;27(6):471-94.

Allografts of CNS tissue possess a blood-brain barrier: III. Neuropathological, methodological, and immunological considerations.

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Department of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201.


Development of a blood-brain barrier (BBB) within mammalian CNS grafts, placed either intracerebrally or peripherally, has been controversial. Published data from this laboratory have emphasized the presence or the absence of a BBB within solid mammalian tissue or cell suspension grafts is determined intrinsically by the graft and not by the surrounding host parenchyma (e.g., brain, kidney, testis, etc.). Nevertheless, correctly interpreting whether or not a BBB exists within brain grafts is manifested by methodologies employed to answer the question and by ensuing neuropathological and immunological consequences of intracerebral grafting. The present study addresses these issues and suggests misinterpretation for the absence of a BBB in brain grafts can be attributed to: (1) rupture of interendothelial tight junctional complexes in vessels of CNS grafts fixed by perfusion of the host; (2) damage to host vessels and BBB during the intracerebral grafting procedure; (3) graft placement in proximity to inherently permeable vessels (e.g., CNS sites lying outside the BBB) supplying the subarachnoid space/pial surface and circumventricular organs such as the median eminence, area postrema, and choroid plexus; and (4) graft rejection associated with antigen presenting cells and the host immune response. The latter is prevalent in xenogeneic grafts and exists in allogeneic grafts with donor-host mismatch in the major and/or minor histocompatibility complex. CNS grafts between non-immunosuppressed outbred donor and host rats of the same strain (e.g., Sprague Dawley or Wistar rats) can be rejected by the host; these grafts exhibit populations of immunohistochemically identifiable major histocompatibility complex class I+ and class EE+ cells (microglia, macrophages, etc.) and CD4+ T-helper and CD8+ T-cytotoxic lymphocytes. PC12 cell suspension grafts placed within the CNS of non-immunosuppressed Sprague Dawley rats are rejected similarly. Donor cells from solid CNS grafts placed intracerebrally and stained immunohistochemically for donor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I expression are identified within the host spleen and lymph nodes; these donor MHC expressing cells may initiate the host immune response subsequent to the cells entering the general circulation through host cerebral vessels damaged during graft placement. Rapid healing of damaged cerebral vessels is stimulated with exogenously applied basic fibroblast growth factor, which may prove helpful in reducing the potential entry of donor cells to the host circulation. These results have implication clinically for the intracerebral grafting of human fetal CNS cell suspensions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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