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Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 169580, 7 pages
Research Article

A Novel Algorithm for the Assessment of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability Suggests That Brain Topical Application of Endothelin-1 Does Not Cause Early Opening of the Barrier in Rats

D. Jorks,1,2,3 D. Milakara,1,2,4 M. Alam,5 E. J. Kang,1,6 S. Major,1,2,6 A. Friedman,7 and J. P. Dreier1,2,3,6

1Department of Experimental Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, 10098 Berlin, Germany
2Center for Stroke Research Berlin, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
3Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany
4Department of Neuroradiology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, 10098 Berlin, Germany
5Department of Neurosurgery, Hannover Medical School, 30625 Hannover, Germany
6Department of Neurology, Charité University Medicine Berlin, 10098 Berlin, Germany
7Departments of Physiology, Neurosurgery, and Biomedical Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva 84105, Israel

Received 30 October 2010; Accepted 27 January 2011

Academic Editor: Daniela Kaufer

Copyright © 2011 D. Jorks et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There are a number of different experimental methods for ex vivo assessment of blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening based on Evans blue dye extravasation. However, these methods require many different steps to prepare the brain and need special equipment for quantification. We here report a novel, simple, and fast semiquantitative algorithm to assess BBB integrity ex vivo. The method is particularly suitable for cranial window experiments, since it keeps the spatial information about where the BBB opened. We validated the algorithm using sham controls and the established model of brain topical application of the bile salt dehydrocholate for early BBB disruption. We then studied spreading depolarizations in the presence and the absence of the vasoconstrictor endothelin-1 and found no evidence of early BBB opening (three-hour time window). The algorithm can be used, for example, to assess BBB permeability ex vivo in combination with dynamic in vivo studies of BBB opening.