Previously we have employed antibodies to the tight junction (TJ)-associated proteins ZO-1 and occludin to describe endothelial tight junction abnormalities, in lesional and normal appearing white matter, in primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). This work is extended here by use of antibodies to the independent TJ-specific proteins and junctional adhesion molecule A & B (JAM-A, JAM-B). We have also assessed the expression in MS of ß-catenin, a protein specific to the TJ-associated adherens junction. Immunocytochemistry and semiquantitative confocal microscopy for JAM-A and ß-catenin was performed on snap-frozen sections from MS cases (n = 11) and controls (n = 6). Data on 1,443 blood vessels was acquired from active lesions (n = 13), inactive lesions (n = 13), NAWM (n = 20) and control white matter (n = 13). In MS abnormal JAM-A expression was found in active (46%) and inactive lesions (21%), comparable to previous data using ZO-1. However, a lower level of TJ abnormality was found in MS NAWM using JAM-A (3%) compared to ZO-1 (13%). JAM-B was strongly expressed on a small number of large blood vessels in control and MS tissues but at too low a level for quantitative analysis. By comparison with the high levels of abnormality observed with the TJ proteins, the adherens junction protein ß-catenin was normally expressed in all MS and control tissue categories. These results confirm, by use of the independent marker JAM-A, that TJ abnormalities are most frequent in active white matter lesions. Altered expression of JAM-A, in addition to affecting junctional tightness may also both reflect and affect leukocyte trafficking, with implications for immune status within the diseased CNS. Conversely, the adherens junction component of the TJ, as indicated by ß-catenin expression is normally expressed in all MS and control tissue categories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Padden, M., Leech, S., Craig, B., Kirk, J., Brankin, B., & McQuaid, S. (2007). Differences in expression of junctional adhesion molecule-A and beta catenin in multiple sclerosis brain tissue: increasing evidence for the role of tight junction pathology. Acta Neuropathologica, 113 (2)(2), 177-186. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-006-0145-x