Bilateral carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) is one experimental model of vascular dementia thought to preferentially impact brain white matter. Indeed, few studies report hippocampal and cortical pathology prior to 30 days post-stenosis; though it is unclear whether those studies examined regions outside the white matter. Since changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability precede more overt brain pathology in various diseases, we hypothesized that changes within the BBB and/or BBB-associated extracellular matrix (ECM) could occur earlier after BCAS in the hippocampus, cortex and striatum and be a precursor of longer term pathology. Here, C57Bl/6 mice underwent BCAS or sham surgeries and changes in the BBB and ECM were analyzed by collagen IV (vascular basement membrane component), α5 integrin (marker of endothelial activation), claudin-5 and occludin (tight junction proteins), Evans blue (permeability marker), Ki-67 (cell proliferation marker), and GFAP and CD11b (glial cell markers) immunohistochemistry after 14 days. Significant changes in markers of cerebrovascular integrity and glial activation were detected, not only in the striatum, but also in the hippocampus and cortex. In conclusion, this study demonstrates for the first time that changes in the BBB/ECM occur shortly after BCAS and within multiple brain regions and suggests such changes might underlie the gradual development of BCAS non-white matter pathology.

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Published in PLOS ONE, v. 13, 4, e0195765, p. 1-15.

© 2018 Roberts et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov), Grant # 1 R01 NS089515-01 to GJB. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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Data Availability: Relevant data can be found at the BioStudies database (https://www.ebi.ac.uk/biostudies/) under accession number S-BSST130.

Supporting Information - S1 File. The ARRIVE guidelines checklist. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195765.s001

S1File.pdf (2612 kB)
S1 File. The ARRIVE guidelines checklist.