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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 189-196

β4 integrin is not essential for localization of hemidesmosome proteins plectin and CD151 in cerebral vessels

1 Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
2 Department of Biochemistry and Neurology, Hunter James Kelly Research Institute, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA

Correspondence Address:
Richard Milner
Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, MEM 132, La Jolla, CA 92037
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2394-8108.195285

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Objective: In the central nervous system (CNS), β4 integrin is predominantly expressed by endothelial cells lining arterioles. As β4 integrin plays an essential role in epithelial tissues, organizing structural proteins into specialized adhesive structures called hemidesmosomes (HD), the aim of this study was to determine whether it plays a similar role in CNS endothelium. Methods: Dual-immunofluorescence was used to examine the relationship between β4 integrin expression and co-expression of the HD proteins plectin and CD151 in frozen sections of mouse brain, both under normoxic (control) conditions and following chronic mild hypoxia. The requirement of β4 integrin for the localization of HD proteins was examined in transgenic mice lacking β4 integrin expression specifically in endothelial cells (β4-EC-KO mice). Results: Immunofluorescence revealed that in the normal adult CNS, plectin and CD151 strongly co-localized with β4 integrin in arterioles. However, in the chronic mild hypoxia model, in which extensive cerebrovascular remodeling is observed, plectin and CD151 were strongly upregulated on all cerebral vessels, but surprisingly, in capillaries, this occurred in a β4 integrin-independent manner. Unexpectedly, absence of endothelial β4 integrin (in β4-EC-KO mice) had no impact on the expression level or distribution pattern of plectin and CD151 within stable or remodeling cerebral vessels. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the HD proteins plectin and CD151 are closely associated with β4 integrin on arterioles in normal brain, and are strongly upregulated on remodeling blood vessels. However, unlike its described role in the epidermis, β4 integrin is not essential for localization or regulation of expression of plectin and CD151 in cerebral vessels.

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