Effects of Cytokines on Blood Brain Barrier in Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus



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The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a collection of blood capillaries that coordinate a series of metabolic, physical and transport properties that regulate interactions with vascular, immune, and neural cells, enabling healthy movement of molecules between the brain and the blood brain barrier. (1) Cognitive impairments as manifestations of neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) occur in almost 40% of all people with systemic lupus (SLE). (2) There are certain types of cytokines that contribute to the disruption to the blood brain barrier. However, there remains a gap in knowledge where little to no research has been done on these biomolecules in the context of NPSLE, and the mechanism by which this phenomenon happens remains unknown. This research attempted to fill in the gap and work toward identifying clear markers of BBB breach in NPSLE, and identify the serum proteins and autoantibodies present in the blood that are predictive of BBB breach in SLE. The protocol of the experiment involves preparing blood brain barrier Transwell models using media and attachment factors, before adding the bovine endothelial cells and later astrocytes. The culture was then treated with the desired cytokines and transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured across the layer to confirm the integrity and permeability of the monolayer. The results implicate that the mechanism of the molecular basis of a blood brain barrier breach is difficult to determine in research from a co-culture of human astrocytes and bovine endothelial cells.



Biomedical engineering