A pinboard by
Moriah Katt

Graduate Researcher, Johns Hopkins University


I am studying the role of mutations that lead to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease in the development of vasculature in the brain. The goal of this work is to determine if blood vessels located in the brain of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases share commonalities that may explain disease progression, or open an avenue for a new therapy.


Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells Derived from the BC1 iPS Cell Line Exhibit a Blood-Brain Barrier Phenotype.

Abstract: The endothelial cells that form capillaries in the brain are highly specialized, with tight junctions that minimize paracellular transport and an array of broad-spectrum efflux pumps that make drug delivery to the brain extremely challenging. One of the major limitations in blood-brain barrier research and the development of drugs to treat central nervous system diseases is the lack of appropriate cell lines. Recent reports indicate that the derivation of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may provide a solution to this problem. Here we demonstrate the derivation of hBMECs extended to two new human iPSC lines: BC1 and GFP-labeled BC1. These hBMECs highly express adherens and tight junction proteins VE-cadherin, ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-5. The addition of retinoic acid upregulates VE-cadherin expression, and results in a significant increase in transendothelial electrical resistance to physiological values. The permeabilities of tacrine, rhodamine 123, and Lucifer yellow are similar to values obtained for MDCK cells. The efflux ratio for rhodamine 123 across hBMECs is in the range 2-4 indicating polarization of efflux transporters. Using the rod assay to assess cell organization in small vessels and capillaries, we show that hBMECs resist elongation with decreasing diameter but show progressive axial alignment. The derivation of hBMECs with a blood-brain barrier phenotype from the BC1 cell line highlights that the protocol is robust. The expression of GFP in hBMECs derived from the BC1-GFP cell line provides an important new resource for BBB research.

Pub.: 14 Apr '16, Pinned: 08 Nov '17