Mitochondrial Crisis in Cerebrovascular Endothelial Cells Opens the Blood–Brain Barrier
Background and Purpose—The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a selectively permeable cerebrovascular endothelial barrier that maintains homeostasis between the periphery and the central nervous system. BBB disruption is a consequence of ischemic stroke and BBB permeability can be altered by infection/inflammation, but the complex cellular and molecular changes that result in this BBB alteration need to be elucidated to determine mechanisms.
Methods—Infection mimic (lipopolysaccharide) challenge on infarct volume, BBB permeability, infiltrated neutrophils, and functional outcomes after murine transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in vivo; mitochondrial evaluation of cerebrovascular endothelial cells challenged by lipopolysaccharide in vitro; pharmacological inhibition of mitochondria on BBB permeability in vitro and in vivo; the effects of mitochondrial inhibitor on BBB permeability, infarct volume, and functional outcomes after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion.
Results—We report here that lipopolysaccharide worsens ischemic stroke outcome and increases BBB permeability after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in mice. Furthermore, we elucidate a novel mechanism that compromised mitochondrial function accounts for increased BBB permeability as evidenced by: lipopolysaccharide-induced reductions in oxidative phosphorylation and subunit expression of respiratory chain complexes in cerebrovascular endothelial cells, a compromised BBB permeability induced by pharmacological inhibition of mitochondrial function in cerebrovascular endothelial cells in vitro and in an in vivo animal model, and worsened stroke outcomes in transient middle cerebral artery occlusion mice after inhibition of mitochondrial function.
Conclusions—We concluded that mitochondria are key players in BBB permeability. These novel findings suggest a potential new therapeutic strategy for ischemic stroke by endothelial cell mitochondrial regulation.
- Received February 11, 2015.
- Revision received April 1, 2015.
- Accepted April 3, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.