Spumiform basement membrane aberrations in the microvasculature of the midbrain periaqueductal gray region in hamster: rostro-caudal pathogenesis?
SourceNeuroscience, 228, (2013), pp. 128-38
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDCN MP - Plasticity and memory
Spumiform basement membrane degeneration (sbmd) is a specific kind of aberration present in the capillaries of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) region of the senescent hamster. These capillaries, separated by the ependymal cell layer, are bordering the Sylvian cerebral aqueduct. The aqueduct, connecting the 3rd and 4th ventricle, may be crucial for local homeostatic as well as general autonomic functions of the PAG. Local pressure effects of the flowing and pulsating cerebrospinal fluid on the PAG-vasculature are probably different for the rostral 'entrance' and the caudal 'exit' of the aqueduct. In view of the different functions of the various divisions of the PAG, the frequency and extent of the aberrations in the rostral, intermediate and caudal dl/vlPAG-microvasculature could shed some light on the causal factors involved in the regional distribution of the particular microvascular aberrations found in the PAG during aging. In the present study we investigated the ultrastructure of capillaries in dorsal and ventral subdivisions of anterior and posterior regions of the PAG of young and old female Syrian hamsters. Sbmds were classified into four stages of spumiform severity and for each stage the frequency was determined in the rostral PAG, at two levels in the intermediate PAG and in a dorsal and a ventral part of the caudal PAG. Results of our quantitative studies showed that in aged hamster PAG various stages of sbmd were present in 91.6 +/- 0.6% of all capillaries. No clear evidence was found for regional differentiation between rostral, intermediate and caudal parts of the PAG. Next to sbmd, capillary split basement membrane (sbm) and vacuolization were common features at all five PAG locations. 84.3 +/- 2.3% of all screened PAG capillaries displayed sbm. In agreement with our previous findings, several other types of microvascular aberrations were observed in addition to general aspects of aging and some ependymal structural peculiarities. We conclude that the presence of various forms of sbmds in the PAG of senescent hamsters is a phenomenon that appears to be specific to the PAG region, but causal factors for this type of capillary degeneration remain unclear. Sbmds in the PAG may have serious consequences not only for blood-brain barrier functioning, but also for vascular perfusion and blood supply with eventually serious consequences for adequate regulation of the autonomic and motor control functions of the PAG region.
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