2002 Volume 9 Issue 5 Pages 224-232
Cerebral vessels have certain distinct anatomical and developmental characteristics which are well known, but their characteristic genetic expression profile remains as yet only poorly understood. We investigated gene expression in the rat cerebral artery in comparison with the rat descending aorta, two locations which have obviously different anatomical and developmental characteristics. Since the contamination of cerebral small arteries by arachnoid tissue is to a certain extent inevitable, we also performed a gene expression analysis of arachnoid tissue as a background. In an effort to obtain the necessary quality and quantity of total RNA, a novel freeze-fracture apparatus minimizing the time required for the entire procedure from tissue separation to RNA preparation was used. With the material obtained, a group of genes highly expressed in each tissue was detected by oligonucleotide microarray analysis. In the circle of Willis, peptide-19 (PEP-19), connexin-37 (CXN-37), growth arrest-and DNA damage-inducible gene (GADD45), and the putative G protein coupled receptor RA1c, Notch-1, and jagged-1 were predominantly expressed. In arachnoid tissue, bone morphologic protein (BMP)-7, BMP-6, beta defensin-1, neuroendocrine protein 7B2, thiol-specific antioxidant protein, IL-18, beta-chain clathrin-associated protein complex AP-1, and angiopoietin-2 were highly expressed. In the aorta, most of the abundantly expressed genes related to lipid metabolism. By means of oligonucleotide microarray analysis, the distinct gene expression profiles in the circle of Willis arachnoid tissue, and aorta were made evident. From these findings it is reasonable to conclude that a functional interaction exists between the circle of Willis and arachnoid tissue.