Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 50th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

Peripheral neuropathy and blood-nerve barrier

Takashi Kanda, M.D.

Department of Neurology and Clinical Neuroscience, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine

It is important to know the cellular properties of endoneurial microvascular endothelial cells (PnMECs) and microvascular pericytes which constitute blood-nerve barrier (BNB), since this barrier structure in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) may play pivotal pathophysiological roles in various disorders of the PNS including inflammatory neuropathies (i.e. Guillain-Barré syndrome), vasculitic neuropathies, hereditary neuropathies and diabetic neuropathy. However, in contrast to blood-brain barrier (BBB), very few studies have been directed to BNB and no adequate cell lines originating from BNB had been launched. In our laboratory, we successfully established human immortalized cell lines originating from BNB using temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen and the cellular properties of human cell lines are presented in this paper. Human PnMEC cell line showed high transendothelial electrical resistance and expressed tight junction components and various types of influx as well as efflux transporters that have been reported to function at BBB. Human pericyte cell line also possessed tight junction proteins except claudin-5 and secrete various cytokines and growth factors including bFGF, VEGF, GDNF, NGF, BDNF and angiopoietin-1. Co-culture with pericytes or pericyte-conditioned media strengthend barrier properties of PnMEC, suggesting that in the PNS, peripheral nerve pericytes support the BNB function and play the same role of astrocytes in the BBB. Future accumulation of the knowledge concerning the cellular properties of BNB-forming cells will open the door to novel therapeutic strategies for intractable peripheral neuropathies.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (310K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 49: 959|962, 2009)
key words: Blood-nerve barrier, peripheral neuropathy, claudin-5, endothelial cell, pericyte

(Received: 22-May-09)