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Non-invasive assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability using a gamma camera to detect (99)technetium-gluceptate extravasation in rat brain.

Esposito, P., Jacobson, S., Connolly, R., Gheorghe, D. and Theoharides, T.C.

Brain Research Protocols, 8(2), 143-149 (2001).

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a complex structure of endothelial cells, astroglia, pericytes, and perivascular macrophages enclosed by basal lamina. The BBB regulates the entry of blood-borne molecules and cells into the brain, but it is disrupted in various inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system (CNS). We previously showed that 30 min of immobilization stress increased (99)technetium-gluceptate (Tc-99) extravasation, measured by a gamma counter, in brain regions containing mast cells, an effect blocked by the mast cell stabilizer disodium cromoglycate [Brain Res. 888 (2001) 117]. Here we report the use of a gamma camera to assess BBB permeability by assessing Tc-99 extravasation in the rat brain, during and following acute stress, without having to sacrifice the experimental animals. This method also allows for repeated experimentation on the same animal, since the half-life of Tc-99 is only 6 h, and permits testing of potential inhibitors of BBB permeability.