Lymphocytes cross vascular boundaries via either disrupted tight junctions (TJs) or caveolae to induce tissue inflammation. In the CNS, Th17 lymphocytes cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) before Th1 cells; yet this differential crossing is poorly understood. We have used intravital two-photon imaging of the spinal cord in wild-type and caveolae-deficient mice with fluorescently labeled endothelial tight junctions to determine how tight junction remodeling and caveolae regulate CNS entry of lymphocytes during the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model for multiple sclerosis. We find that dynamic tight junction remodeling occurs early in EAE but does not depend upon caveolar transport. Moreover, Th1, but not Th17, lymphocytes are significantly reduced in the inflamed CNS of mice lacking caveolae. Therefore, tight junction remodeling facilitates Th17 migration across the BBB, whereas caveolae promote Th1 entry into the CNS. Moreover, therapies that target both tight junction degradation and caveolar transcytosis may limit lymphocyte infiltration during inflammation. Autoreactive T cell trafficking into the CNS exacerbates multiple sclerosis; yet how these cells enter the CNS remains unclear. Lutz et al. demonstrate that Caveolin1 exacerbates disease pathogenesis by promoting selective trafficking of Th1 cells across the BBB independently of tight junction remodeling.
Lutz, S. E., Smith, J. R., Kim, D. H., Olson, C. V. L., Ellefsen, K., Bates, J. M., … Agalliu, D. (2017). Caveolin1 Is Required for Th1 Cell Infiltration, but Not Tight Junction Remodeling, at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Autoimmune Neuroinflammation. Cell Reports, 21(8), 2104–2117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.094