Glial-derived neurotrophic factor is essential for blood-nerve barrier functional recovery in an experimental murine model of traumatic peripheral neuropathy

Academic Article


  • There is emerging evidence that glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is a potent inducer of restrictive barrier function in tight junction-forming microvascular endothelium and epithelium, including the human blood-nerve barrier (BNB) in vitro. We sought to determine the role of GDNF in restoring BNB function in vivo by evaluating sciatic nerve horseradish peroxidase (HRP) permeability in tamoxifen-inducible GDNF conditional knockout (CKO) adult mice following non-transecting crush injury via electron microscopy, with appropriate wildtype (WT) and heterozygous (HET) littermate controls. A total of 24 age-, genotype- and sex-matched mice >12 weeks of age were injected with 30 mg/kg HRP via tail vein injection 7 or 14 days following unilateral sciatic nerve crush, and both sciatic nerves were harvested 30 minutes later for morphometric assessment by light and electron microscopy. The number and percentage of HRP-permeable endoneurial microvessels were ascertained to determine the effect of GDNF in restoring barrier function in vivo. Following sciatic nerve crush, there was significant upregulation in GDNF protein expression in WT and HET mice that was abrogated in CKO mice. GDNF significantly restored sciatic nerve BNB HRP impermeability to near normal levels by day 7, with complete restoration seen by day 14 in WT and HET mice. A significant recovery lag was observed in CKO mice. This effect was independent on VE-Cadherin or claudin-5 expression on endoneurial microvessels. These results imply an important role of GDNF in restoring restrictive BNB function in vivo, suggesting a potential strategy to re-establish the restrictive endoneurial microenvironment following traumatic peripheral neuropathies.
  • Published In

  • Tissue Barriers  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dong C; Helton ES; Zhou P; Ouyang X; d‘Anglemont de Tassigny X; Pascual A; López-Barneo J; Ubogu EE
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 22
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 2