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A Potential Role for the Existence of Pericytes in the Neurovascular Unit of the Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus of the Rat Preoptic Area to Control Blood-Brain Barrier Function

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 3 ]

Author(s):

Zhen He* and Tucker A. Patterson   Pages 194 - 201 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: The present study aimed at determining pericytes, a missing component in the previously proposed living neurovascular unit (NVU) of the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA) in rats.

Materials and Mehods: Calbindin D28K-immunoreactivities (CB28-irs) were used to delineate the SDN-POA in which CD13-immunoreactivities (CD13-irs) or alpha-smooth muscle actin-immunoreactivities (αSMA-irs), two pericyte biomarkers serving the indexes of pericytes, were tagged using two adjacent brain sections (90-micron intervals). In addition, the nestin-immunoreactive (nestin-ir) cells in the SDN-POA were counted as pericytes referring to additional standards: location and nucleic and cellular morphology. Male SDN-POA volume (5.0±0.3x10-3 mm3) was significantly larger than the female (1.7±0.3x10-3 mm). Within the SDN-POA, the CD13-irs were characterized as dots, densely packed and net-like in distribution, while the αSMA-irs, excluding pipe-like or circular structures, appeared as short rod-like structures that were sparsely distributed.

Results: The immunoreactive counts of alpha-smooth muscle actin were 353±57/mm2 in males and 124±46/mm2 in females (p<0.05). On the other hand, densities of the dot-like CD13-irs were similar between males (4009±301/mm2) and females (4018±414/ mm2). There was no difference between the male and the female in the nestin-ir pericyte count in the SDN-POA.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the present study adds new information concerning pericytes to the living NVU of the SDN-POA. There is a sex difference in counting the αSMA-irs in the living NVU of the SDN-POA. Why such a difference exists warrants further investigation.

Keywords:

alpha-smooth muscle actin, CD13-immunoreactivity, living neurovascular unit, nestin, pericyte, sexually dimorphic nucleus.

Affiliation:

Department of Neuroscience, Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, AR 72079 , Department of Neuroscience, Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, Jefferson, AR 72079



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