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Keywords:

  • blood–brain barrier;
  • cerebral ischemia;
  • endothelial cells;
  • microsphere;
  • nitric oxide synthase;
  • tyrosine nitration

Abstract

Microsphere embolism (ME)-induced up-regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in endothelial cells of brain microvessels was observed 2–48 h after ischemia. eNOS induction preceded disruption of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) observed 6–72 h after ischemia. In vascular endothelial cells, ME-induced eNOS expression was closely associated with protein tyrosine nitration, which is a marker of generation of peroxynitrite. Leakage of rabbit IgG from microvessels was also evident around protein tyrosine nitration-immunoreactive microvessels. To determine whether eNOS expression and protein tyrosine nitration in vascular endothelial cells mediates BBB disruption in the ME brain, we tested the effect of a novel calmodulin-dependent NOS inhibitor, 3-[2-[4-(3-chloro-2-methylphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]-5,6-dimethoxy-1-(4-imidazolylmethyl)-1H-indazole dihydrochloride 3.5 hydrate (DY-9760e), which inhibits eNOS activity and, in turn, protein tyrosine nitration. Concomitant with inhibition of protein tyrosine nitration in vascular endothelial cells, DY-9760e significantly inhibited BBB disruption as assessed by Evans blue (EB) excretion. DY-9760e also inhibited cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase as a marker of the apoptotic pathway in vascular endothelial cells. Taken together with previous evidence in which DY-9760e inhibited brain edema, ME-induced eNOS expression in vascular endothelial cells likely mediates BBB disruption and, in turn, brain edema.