Caveolin expression changes in the neurovascular unit after juvenile traumatic brain injury: signs of blood-brain barrier healing?

Neuroscience. 2015 Jan 29;285:215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.10.035. Epub 2014 Nov 4.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the major causes of death and disability in pediatrics, and results in a complex cascade of events including the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A controlled-cortical impact on post-natal 17-day-old rats induced BBB disruption by IgG extravasation from 1 to 3 days after injury and returned to normal at day 7. In parallel, we characterized the expression of three caveolin isoforms, caveolin 1 (cav-1), caveolin 2 (cav-2) and caveolin 3 (cav-3). While cav-1 and cav-2 are expressed on endothelial cells, both cav-1 and cav-3 were found to be present on reactive astrocytes, in vivo and in vitro. Following TBI, cav-1 expression was increased in blood vessels at 1 and 7 days in the perilesional cortex. An increase of vascular cav-2 expression was observed 7 days after TBI. In contrast, astrocytic cav-3 expression decreased 3 and 7 days after TBI. Activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) (via its phosphorylation) was detected 1 day after TBI and phospho-eNOS was detected both in association with blood vessels and with astrocytes. The molecular changes involving caveolins occurring in endothelial cells following juvenile-TBI might participate, independently of eNOS activation, to a mechanism of BBB repair while, they might subserve other undefined roles in astrocytes.

Keywords: astrocyte; blood–brain barrier; caveolin; endothelium; juvenile traumatic brain injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / pathology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / pathology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism*
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Caveolin 1 / metabolism*
  • Caveolin 2 / metabolism*
  • Caveolin 3 / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Cav1 protein, rat
  • Cav2 protein, rat
  • Cav3 protein, rat
  • Caveolin 1
  • Caveolin 2
  • Caveolin 3
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III
  • Nos3 protein, rat