Anatomical and Biochemical Characterization of the Porcine Spinal Arachnoid




Taylor, Martin T.


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Taylor, Martin T., Anatomical and Biochemical Characterization of the Porcine Spinal Arachnoid. Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Sciences), June, 1994. Mast cell products modulate many biologic barrier systems. In the central nervous system (CNS) two such barriers are the blood-brain barrier (B-B-B) and its analogous cerebrospinal fluid-blood barrier (CSF-B-B). Published research has demonstrated that mast cell products increase the permeability of the BBB, but no comparable research has been described for the CSF-B-B. The main goal of this dissertation was to begin to assess the role of mast cell products on the chief component of the CSF-B-B, the arachnoid mater. Specifically, the hypothesis that mast cell products modulate arachnoid function through receptor mediated second messenger system regulation was postulated. Initially, the light and electron microscopic features of the porcine spinal meninges generally and the arachnoid mater specifically were characterized and found to be similar to those of other species and CNS regions. In addition, mast cells were found to be present in the meninges where their product could affect the arachnoid mater. To study the effects of the selected mast products on the arachnoid mater, arachnoid cells were isolated and cultured. Morphologic, immunohistochemical, and physiological studies confirmed the cultured cells were arachnid cells and that they were capable of developing attributes of a barrier membrane in vitro, (e.g. tight junctions, increased transcellular resistance). The effects of mast cell products on arachnoid cells were then assessed biochemically. Arachnoid cells were found to produce cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in response to forskolin and prostaglandin D2 (PGD2). Histamine inhibited both forskolin and PGD2 stimulated production of cAMP. Additionally, arachnoid cells produced inositol phosphates (IP) in response to carbachol and histamine via muscarinic and H1-histamine receptors respectively. Since histamine and PGD2 are produced and released by activated mast cells, and since cAMP and IP levels are known to modulate cellular barrier systems, it is concluded that meningeal mast cells and their products may regulate or modulate permeability of the CSF-B-B. An understanding of the specific biochemical actions of mast cell products on the arachnoid may ultimately aid in the understanding of many physiologic and pathologic processes involving the arachnoid such as hydrocephalus, subarachnoid and subdural hemorrhages, cerebral edema, meningitis, and meningiomas.