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Localization of organic cation/carnitine transporter (OCTN2) in cells forming the blood-brain barrier

Abstract : Carnitine β-hydroxy-γ-(trimethylammonio)butyrate – a compound necessary in the peripheral tissues for a transfer of fatty acids for their oxidation within the cell, accumulates in the brain despite low β-oxidation in this organ. In order to enter the brain, carnitine has to cross the blood-brain barrier formed by capillary endothelial cells which are in close interaction with astrocytes. Previous studies, demonstrating expression of mRNA coding two carnitine transporters – organic cation/carnitine transporter 2 (OCTN2) and B0,+ in endothelial cells, did not give any information on carnitine transporters polarity in endothelium. Therefore more detailed experiments were performed on expression and localization of a high affinity carnitine transporter OCTN2 in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier by real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and immunocytochemistry. The amount of mRNA was comparable in endothelial cells and kidney, when referred to housekeeping genes, it was, however, significantly lower in astrocytes. Polarity of OCTN2 localization was further studied in an in vitro model of the blood–brain barrier with use of anti-OCTN2 antibodies. Z-axis analysis of the confocal microscope pictures of endothelial cells, with anti-P-glycoprotein antibodies as the marker of apical membrane, showed OCTN2 localization at the basolateral membrane and in the cytoplasmic region in the vicinity of nuclei. Localization of OCTN2 suggest that carnitine can be also transported from the brain, playing an important role in removal of certain acyl esters.
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Contributor : Wilfried Déplanques Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 3:33:39 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 21, 2022 - 3:31:55 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00527549, version 1



Dorota Miecz, Elzbieta Januszewicz, Magdalena Czeredys, Barry T. Hinton, Vincent Berezowski, et al.. Localization of organic cation/carnitine transporter (OCTN2) in cells forming the blood-brain barrier. Journal of Neurochemistry, 2008, 104, p. 113-123. ⟨hal-00527549⟩



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