Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 17–25 | Cite as

Blood-brain barrier changes following intracerebral injection of human recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α in the rat

  • James L. Wright
  • Randall E. Merchant
Laboratory Investigation


Human recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α (rTNF-α) was administered to normal Fischer 344 rats by stereotaxic intracerebral (IC) injection. Animals receiving a single injection of either 6 x 104 U rTNF-α or an equivalent volume of excipient (vehicle) in their right parietal lobe. In order to demonstrate any effects rTNF-α might have on the blood-brain barrier (BBB), two studies were conducted, one employing exogenous horseradish peroxidase (HRP, 44 kD) as a tracer of BBB permeability and the other using endogenous IgG (150 kD). Rats given rTNF-α showed transitory BBB permeability to HRP by 24 hours post-injection; this BBB compromise was determined to be no longer than 60 hours. In the other study, IgG was seen to cross the BBB by 48 hours post-rTNF-α injection. Alternatively, rats injected IC with excipient showed only limited BBB opening as a result of injection-induced trauma. We conclude that human rTNF-α, injected IC into normal rats triggers a temporary breakdown in BBB integrity which begins sometimes between 12 and 24 hours post-injection, is large enough to permit macromolecules of at least 150 kD to pass, and resolves by 72 hours post-injection.

Key words

TNF-α blood-brain barrier toxicity histopathology 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Wright
    • 1
  • Randall E. Merchant
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of 1 AnatomyViginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of NeurosurgeryViginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of VirginiaRichmondUSA

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