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Differential distribution of tight junction proteins suggests a role for tanycytes in blood-hypothalamus barrier regulation in the adult mouse brain.: Tanycytes at the blood-hypothalamus interface

Abstract : The median eminence is one of the seven so-called circumventricular organs. It is located in the basal hypothalamus, ventral to the third ventricle and adjacent to the arcuate nucleus. This structure characteristically contains a rich capillary plexus and features a fenestrated endothelium, making it a direct target of blood-borne molecules. The median eminence also contains highly specialized ependymal cells called tanycytes, which line the floor of the third ventricle. It has been hypothesized that one of the functions of these cells is to create a barrier that prevents substances in the portal capillary spaces from entering the brain. In this paper, we utilize immunohistochemistry to study the expression of tight junction proteins in the cells that compose the median eminence in adult mice. Our results indicate that tanycytes of the median eminence express occludin, ZO-1, and claudin 1 and 5, but not claudin 3. Remarkably, these molecules are organized as a continuous belt around the cell bodies of the tanycytes that line the ventral part of the third ventricle. In contrast, the tanycytes at the periphery of the arcuate nucleus do not express claudin 1 and instead exhibit a disorganized expression pattern of occludin, ZO-1, and claudin 5. Consistent with these observations, permeability studies using peripheral or central injections of Evans blue dye show that only the tanycytes of the median eminence are joined at their apices by functional tight junctions, whereas tanycytes located at the level of the arcuate nucleus form a permeable layer. In conclusion, this study reveals a unique expression pattern of tight junction proteins in hypothalamic tanycytes, which yields new insights into their barrier properties.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 8:41:14 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 2:40:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, October 19, 2012 - 3:10:10 PM

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Amandine Mullier, Sébastien Bouret, Vincent Prevot, Bénédicte Dehouck. Differential distribution of tight junction proteins suggests a role for tanycytes in blood-hypothalamus barrier regulation in the adult mouse brain.: Tanycytes at the blood-hypothalamus interface. Journal of Comparative Neurology, Wiley, 2010, 518 (7), pp.943-62. ⟨10.1002/cne.22273⟩. ⟨inserm-00487090⟩

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