Image_2_Autophagy Protects the Blood-Brain Barrier Through Regulating the Dynamic of Claudin-5 in Short-Term Starvation.tif
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is essential for the exchange of nutrient and ions to maintain the homeostasis of central nervous system (CNS). BBB dysfunction is commonly associated with the disruption of endothelial tight junctions and excess permeability, which results in various CNS diseases. Therefore, maintaining the structural integrity and proper function of the BBB is essential for the homeostasis and physiological function of the CNS. Here, we showed that serum starvation disrupted the function of endothelial barrier as evidenced by decreased trans-endothelial electrical resistance, increased permeability, and redistribution of tight junction proteins such as Claudin-5 (Cldn5). Further analyses revealed that autophagy was activated and protected the integrity of endothelial barrier by scavenging ROS and inhibiting the redistribution of Cldn5 under starvation, as evidenced by accumulation of autophagic vacuoles and increased expression of LC3II/I, ATG5 and LAMP1. In addition, autophagosome was observed to package and eliminate the aggregated Cldn5 in cytosol as detected by immunoelectron microscopy (IEM) and stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope. Moreover, Akt-mTOR-p70S6K pathway was found to be involved in the protective autophagy induced by starvation. Our data demonstrated that autophagy played an essential role in maintaining the integrity of endothelial barrier by regulating the localization of Cldn5 under starvation.