Bacterial melanin crosses the blood-brain barrier in rat experimental model. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Bacterial melanin crosses the blood-brain barrier in rat experimental model.
Fluids Barriers CNS. 2014 ;11:20. Epub 2014 Aug 25. PMID: 25184034
BACKGROUND: Bacterial melanin has been proven to stimulate regeneration after CNS lesions. The purpose of this study was to test, whether bacterial melanin can enter the brain via the blood-brain barrier (BBB).
METHODS: Bacterial melanin (BM) was radioactively labeled by the iodobead method and used to test the BBB permeability after systemic injection into rats. The unidirectional influx rate from the blood was calculated by multiple-time regression analysis. A subgroup of the animals was co-injected with non-labeled BM to determine if BM has a saturable transport across the BBB. The levels of radioactivity were determined in the serum and tissues. Arterial blood was sampled to obtain the level of I-BM at different time points after injection. After systemic perfusion with saline, animals were decapitated and brain, spinal cord, liver and kidney samples were obtained and homogenized to test the I-BM level.
RESULTS: Study results showed that radioactively-labeled bacterial melanin crossed the BBB, was enzymatically stable in blood and in brain parenchyma. Entry to brain was reduced when non-labeled BM was also present. Circulating melanin entered all regions of the CNS but the uptake was higher in lumbar spinal cord, thalamus, hypothalamus and substantia nigra. Liver and kidneys had high uptake rates of BM.
CONCLUSIONS: These results show that bacterial melanin has saturable transport across the BBB and selectively targets some CNS regions. Such transport may contribute to the neuroprotective action of bacterial melanin.