Bacterial collagenase disrupts extracellular matrix and opens blood-brain barrier in rat

Neurosci Lett. 1993 Sep 17;160(1):117-9. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(93)90927-d.


Bacterial collagenase causes hemorrhagic necrosis of brain. We studied the enzyme's effect on blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and extracellular matrix (ECM) structure by radiolabeled tracers and electron microscopy. Adult rats had intracerebral injection of bacterial collagenase. Brain uptake from blood of [14C]sucrose was measured in 24 rats 0.5 h to 14 days after injection. 12 rats had ultrastructural studies 1 h after collagenase injection. Brain uptake of [14C]sucrose is maximally increased at 0.5 h, remaining significantly increased for 7 days. Ultrastructurally, some vessels had widening of basal lamina while others had severe disruption of basal lamina with stretching of endothelial cells. We conclude that bacterial collagenase disrupts ECM and opens BBB.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / drug effects*
  • Capillaries / drug effects
  • Capillaries / ultrastructure
  • Collagenases / pharmacology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / drug effects*
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sucrose / metabolism


  • Sucrose
  • Collagenases