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Title: Early loss of blood-brain barrier integrity precedes NOX2 elevation in the prefrontal cortex of an animal model of psychosis
Authors: Schiavone, Stefania
Mhillaj, Emanuela
Neri, Margherita
Grazia Morgese, Maria
Tucci, Paolo
Bove, Maria
Valentino, Mario
Di Giovanni, Giuseppe
Pomara, Cristoforo
Turillazzi, Emanuela
Trabace, Luigia
Cuomo, Vincenzo
Keywords: Blood-brain barrier
Oxidative stress
Social isolation
NADPH oxidase
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Schiavone, S., Mhillaj, E., Neri, M., Morgese, M. G., Tucci, P., Bove, M..., Cuomo, V. (2016). Early loss of blood-brain barrier integrity precedes NOX2 elevation in the prefrontal cortex of an animal model of psychosis. Molecular Neurobiology, 54(3), 2031-2044.
Abstract: The social isolation rearing of young adult rats is a model of psychosocial stress and provides a nonpharmacological tool to study alterations reminiscent of symptoms seen in psychosis. We have previously demonstrated that social isolation in rats leads to increased oxidative stress and to cerebral NOX2 elevations. Here, we investigated early alterations in mRNA expression leading to increased NOX2 in the brain. Rats were exposed to a short period of social isolation (1 week) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for mRNA expression of genes involved in blood-brain barrier (BBB) formation and integrity (ORLs, Vof 21 and Vof 16, Leng8, Vnr1, and Trank 1 genes) was performed. Real-time PCR experiments, immunohistochemistry, and Western blotting analysis showed an increased expression of these genes and related proteins in isolated rats with respect to control animals. The expression of specific markers of BBB integrity, such as matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), occludin 1, and plasmalemmal vesicle associated protein-1 (PV-1), was also significantly altered after 1 week of social isolation. BBB permeability, evaluated by quantification of Evans blue dye extravasation, as well as interstitial fluid, was significantly increased in rats isolated for 1 week with respect to controls. Isolation-induced BBB disruption was also accompanied by a significant increase of Interleukin 6 (IL-6) expression. Conversely, no differences in NOX2 levels were detected at this time point. Our study demonstrates that BBB disruption precedes NOX2 elevations in the brain. These results provide new insights in the interplay of mechanisms linking psychosocial stress to early oxidative stress in the brain, disruption of the BBB, and the development of mental disorders.
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