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Neuroinflammation is a common pathological feature of many brain diseases and is a key mediator of blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown and neuropathogenesis. Adenosine is an endogenous immunomodulator, whose brain extracellular level is tightly controlled by equilibrative nucleoside transporters-1 (ENT1) and ENT2. This study was aimed to investigate the role of ENTs in the modulation of neuroinflammation and BBB function. The results showed that mRNA level of Ent2 was significantly more abundant than that of Ent1 in the brain (hippocampus, cerebral cortex, striatum, midbrain, and cerebellum) of wild-type (WT) mice. Ent2-/- mice displayed higher extracellular adenosine level in the hippocampus than their littermate controls. Repeated lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment induced microglia activation, astrogliosis and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, along with aberrant BBB phenotypes (including reduced tight junction protein expression, pericyte loss, and immunoglobulin G extravasation) and neuronal apoptosis in the hippocampus of WT mice. Notably, Ent2-/- mice displayed significant resistance to LPS-induced neuroinflammation, BBB breakdown, and neurotoxicity. These findings suggest that Ent2 is critical for the modulation of brain adenosine tone and deletion of Ent2 confers protection against LPS-induced neuroinflammation and neurovascular-associated injury. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Kuo-Chen Wu, Chih-Yu Lee, Fang-Yi Chou, Yijuang Chern, Chun-Jung Lin. Deletion of equilibrative nucleoside transporter-2 protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction in mice. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2020 Feb;84:59-71

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PMID: 31751618

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