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Ultracytochemical localization of alkaline phosphatase activity in endothelial cells in chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis

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To investigate the functions of endothelial cell (ECs) in chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), we examined ECs ultracytochemically in various stages of EAE, in conjunction with the localization of alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity. We also studied the relation between the specific localization of AP activity and pathological features at each stage. Chronic relapsing EAE was induced in strain-13 guinea pigs by inoculation with homologous myelin. Controls were inoculated with complete Freund's adjuvant. The controls showed AP activity on the luminal and abluminal surfaces of the plasmalemma, and in pinocytic vesicles and vesicular pits. The localization of AP activity in the preclinical stage of EAE was similar to that in control animals. The initial inflammatory and actively demyelinating stage with perivascular cuffs of mononuclear cells showed AP-positive reactions on the abluminal surface of the plasmalemma, and in vesicles and pits, but not on the luminal surface in many ECs. In a later stage showing relatively old plaques with perivascular accumulation of debris-containing macrophages, AP activity continued to show localization similar to that seen in the initial stage, except for the presence of AP activity on some segments of the abluminal plasmalemma. Inactive lesions with marked perivascular fibrosis showed no AP reaction products. AP activity in unaffected areas showed the same localization as that in control animals throughout the various clinical stages of EAE. These findings suggest that AP activity decreased as the inflammatory demyelination in EAE progressed. The gradual disappearance of AP activity suggests development of functional impairment of ECs.

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Correspondence to S. Kato.

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Supported in part by a Research Grant for the Intractable Diseases from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan

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Kato, S., Nakamura, H. Ultracytochemical localization of alkaline phosphatase activity in endothelial cells in chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Acta Neuropathol 73, 220–226 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00686614

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Key words

  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Blood-brainbarrier
  • Cytochemistry
  • Endothelial cell
  • Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis