Blood-brain barrier permeability towards small and large tracers in a mouse model of osmotic demyelination syndrome

Joshua SCALISI, Benoit Balau, Lynn DENEYER, Joanna Bouchat, Jacques Gilloteaux, Charles Nicaise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During osmotic demyelination syndrome (ODS), myelin and oligodendrocyte are lost according to specific patterns in centro- or extra-pontine regions. In both experimental model of ODS and human cases, brain lesions are locally correlated with the disruption of the blood brain-barrier (BBB). The initiation, the degree and the duration of blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening as well as its contribution to brain damages are still a matter of debate. Using a panel of intravascular tracers from low- to high- molecular weight (from 0.45 kDa 150 kDa), we have assessed the BBB permeability at different timings of ODS induced experimentally in mice. ODS was mimicked according to a protocol of rapid correction of a chronic hyponatremia. We demonstrated that BBB leakage towards smallest tracers Lucifer Yellow (0.45 kDa) and Texas Red-dextran (3 kDa) was delayed by 36 h compared to the first clues of oligodendrocyte loss (occurring 12 h post-correction of hyponatremia). At 48 h post-correction and concomitantly to myelin loss, BBB was massively disrupted as attested by accumulation of Evans Blue (69 kDa) and IgG (150 kDa) in brain parenchyma. Analysis of BBB ultrastructure verified that brain endothelial cells had minimal alterations during chronic hyponatremia and at 12 h post-correction of hyponatremia. However, brain endothelium yielded worsened alterations at 48 h, such as enlarged vesicular to tubular-like cytoplasmic profiles of pinocytosis and/or transcytosis, local basal laminae abnormalities and sub-endothelial cavities. The protein expressions of occludin and claudin-1, involved in inter-endothelial tight junctions, were also downregulated at 48 h post-correction of hyponatremia. Our results revealed that functional BBB opening occured late in pre-established ODS lesions, and therefore was not a primary event initiating oligodendrocyte damages in the mouse model of ODS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135665
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2021


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Endothelium
  • Mouse
  • Osmotic demyelination syndrome
  • Permeability
  • Tracer


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