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© Pierre Lafaye
Astrocytes marqués par des anticorps VHH anti-GFAP. Des anticorps d'alpagas dirigés contre une protéine spécifique des astrocytes, la GFAP (Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein), ont été obtenus à partir de camélidés immunisés. La partie VHH (partie de l'anticorps qui reconnaît l'antigène) a été exprimée sous forme recombinante chez Escherichia coli.
Publication : FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Cell-penetrating anti-GFAP VHH and corresponding fluorescent fusion protein VHH-GFP spontaneously cross the blood-brain barrier and specifically recognize astrocytes: application to brain imaging

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology - 22 Jun 2012

Li T, Bourgeois JP, Celli S, Glacial F, Le Sourd AM, Mecheri S, Weksler B, Romero I, Couraud PO, Rougeon F, Lafaye P

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22730440

FASEB J. 2012 Oct;26(10):3969-79

Antibodies normally do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cannot bind an intracellular cerebral antigen. We demonstrate here for the first time that a new class of antibodies can cross the BBB without treatment. Camelids produce native homodimeric heavy-chain antibodies, the paratope being composed of a single-variable domain called VHH. Here, we used recombinant VHH directed against human glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a specific marker of astrocytes. Only basic VHHs (e.g., pI=9.4) were able to cross the BBB in vitro (7.8 vs. 0% for VHH with pI=7.7). By intracarotid and intravenous injections into live mice, we showed that these basic VHHs are able to cross the BBB in vivo, diffuse into the brain tissue, penetrate into astrocytes, and specifically label GFAP. To analyze their ability to be used as a specific transporter, we then expressed a recombinant fusion protein VHH-green fluorescent protein (GFP). These “fluobodies” specifically labeled GFAP on murine brain sections, and a basic variant (pI=9.3) of the fusion protein VHH-GFP was able to cross the BBB and to label astrocytes in vivo. The potential of VHHs as diagnostic or therapeutic agents in the central nervous system now deserves attention.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22730440