Microvascular lesions of the body are one of the most serious complications that can affect patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective permeable barrier around the microvessels of the brain. This study investigated BBB disruption in diabetic rhesus monkeys using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI). Multi-slice DCE-MRI was used to quantify BBB permeability. Five diabetic monkeys and six control monkeys underwent magnetic resonance brain imaging in 3 Tesla MRI system. Regions of the frontal cortex, the temporal cortex, the basal ganglia, the thalamus, and the hippocampus in the two groups were selected as regions of interest to calculate the value of the transport coefficient Ktrans using the extended Tofts model. Permeability in the diabetic monkeys was significantly increased as compared with permeability in the normal control monkeys. Histopathologically, zonula occludens protein-1 decreased, immunoglobulin G leaked out of the blood, and nuclear factor E2–related factor translocated from the cytoplasm to the nuclei. It is likely that diabetes contributed to the increased BBB permeability.
Keywords: Blood-brain barrier (BBB), Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), Extended Tofts model
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