Mural cell-derived laminin-?5 plays a detrimental role in ischemic stroke.
ABSTRACT: At the blood-brain barrier (BBB), laminin-?5 is predominantly synthesized by endothelial cells and mural cells. Endothelial laminin-?5 is dispensable for BBB maintenance under homeostatic conditions but inhibits inflammatory cell extravasation in pathological conditions. Whether mural cell-derived laminin-?5 is involved in vascular integrity regulation, however, remains unknown. To answer this question, we generated transgenic mice with laminin-?5 deficiency in mural cells (?5-PKO). Under homeostatic conditions, no defects in BBB integrity and cerebral blood flow (CBF) were observed in ?5-PKO mice, suggesting that mural cell-derived laminin-?5 is dispensable for BBB maintenance and CBF regulation under homeostatic conditions. After ischemia-reperfusion (MCAO) injury, however, ?5-PKO mice displayed less severe neuronal injury, including reduced infarct volume, decreased neuronal death, and improved neurological function. In addition, ?5-PKO mice also showed attenuated vascular damage (milder BBB disruption, reduced inflammatory cell infiltration, decreased brain edema, and diminished hemorrhagic transformation). Mechanistic studies revealed less severe tight junction protein (TJP) loss and pericyte coverage reduction in ?5-PKO mice after ischemia-reperfusion injury, indicating that the attenuated ischemic injury in ?5-PKO mice is possibly due to less severe vascular damage. These findings suggest that mural cell-derived laminin-?5 plays a detrimental role in ischemic stroke and that inhibiting its signaling may have a neuroprotective effect.
Project description:Endothelial cells make laminin-411 and laminin-511. Although laminin-411 is well studied, the role of laminin-511 remains largely unknown due to the embryonic lethality of lama5<sup>-/-</sup> mutants. In this study, we generated endothelium-specific lama5 conditional knockout (?5-TKO) mice and investigated the biological functions of endothelial lama5 in blood-brain barrier (BBB) maintenance under homeostatic conditions and the pathogenesis of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). First, the BBB integrity of ?5-TKO mice was measured under homeostatic conditions. Next, ICH was induced in ?5-TKO mice and their littermate controls using the collagenase model. Various parameters, including injury volume, neuronal death, neurological score, brain edema, BBB integrity, inflammatory cell infiltration, and gliosis, were examined at various time points after injury. Under homeostatic conditions, comparable levels of IgG or exogenous tracers were detected in ?5-TKO and control mice. Additionally, no differences in tight junction expression, pericyte coverage, and astrocyte polarity were found in these mice. After ICH, ?5-TKO mice displayed enlarged injury volume, increased neuronal death, elevated BBB permeability, exacerbated infiltration of inflammatory cells (leukocytes, neutrophils, and mononuclear cells), aggravated gliosis, unchanged brain edema, and worse neurological function, compared to the controls. These findings suggest that endothelial lama5 is dispensable for BBB maintenance under homeostatic conditions but plays a beneficial role in ICH.
Project description:Laminin, a major component of the basement membrane, plays an important role in blood brain barrier regulation. At the neurovascular unit, brain endothelial cells, astrocytes, and pericytes synthesize and deposit different laminin isoforms into the basement membrane. It has been shown that laminin ?4 (endothelial laminin) regulates vascular integrity at embryonic/neonatal stage, while astrocytic laminin maintains vascular integrity in adulthood. Here, we investigate the function of pericyte-derived laminin in vascular integrity. Using a conditional knockout mouse line, we report that loss of pericytic laminin leads to hydrocephalus and BBB breakdown in a small percentage (10.7%) of the mutants. Interestingly, BBB disruption always goes hand-in-hand with hydrocephalus in these mutants, and neither symptom is observed in the rest 89.3% of the mutants. Further mechanistic studies show that reduced tight junction proteins, diminished AQP4 expression, and decreased pericyte coverage are responsible for the BBB disruption. Together, these data suggest that pericyte-derived laminin is involved in the maintenance of BBB integrity and regulation of ventricular size/development.
Project description:Endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling is necessary for angiogenesis of the central nervous system and blood-brain barrier (BBB) differentiation, but its relevance for glioma vascularization is unknown. In this study, we show that doxycycline-dependent Wnt1 expression in subcutaneous and intracranial mouse glioma models induced endothelial Wnt/β-catenin signaling and led to diminished tumor growth, reduced vascular density, and normalized vessels with increased mural cell attachment. These findings were corroborated in GL261 glioma cells intracranially transplanted in mice expressing dominant-active β-catenin specifically in the endothelium. Enforced endothelial β-catenin signaling restored BBB characteristics, whereas inhibition by Dkk1 (Dickkopf-1) had opposing effects. By overactivating the Wnt pathway, we induced the Wnt/β-catenin-Dll4/Notch signaling cascade in tumor endothelia, blocking an angiogenic and favoring a quiescent vascular phenotype, indicated by induction of stalk cell genes. We show that β-catenin transcriptional activity directly regulated endothelial expression of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B), leading to mural cell recruitment thereby contributing to vascular quiescence and barrier function. We propose that reinforced Wnt/β-catenin signaling leads to inhibition of angiogenesis with normalized and less permeable vessels, which might prove to be a valuable therapeutic target for antiangiogenic and edema glioma therapy.
Project description:Restoration of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and upregulation of angiogenesis are crucial for brain repair and functional recovery after cerebral ischaemia. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a key regulator of angiogenesis and is emerging as a promising target for cerebrovascular repair after stroke. Here, we investigated for the first time the role of PTX3 in long-term CBF, angiogenesis, and neuronal viability after ischaemic stroke induced by transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). Lack of PTX3 had no effect on early brain damage, but significantly impaired restoration of CBF, 14 and 28 days after MCAo, compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that PTX3 KO mice have significantly greater neuronal loss, significantly decreased vessel diameter, vessel proliferation, vascular density, and reactive astrocytes and decreased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGR2), vascular extracellular matrix (ECM)-proteins (collagen IV, laminin), and integrin-?, in the ipsilateral (stroke) hemisphere compared to WT mice, 28 days after MCAo. Therefore, PTX3 promotes sustained long-term recovery of CBF, angiogenesis, and neuronal viability after cerebral ischaemia. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the potential and clinical relevance of PTX3 as a promising therapeutic target, providing sustained long-term post-stroke neurovascular repair and reducing the loss of neurons. KEY MESSAGES: Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a key regulator of angiogenesis and is emerging as a promising target for cerebrovascular repair after stroke. Restoration of cerebral blood flow (CBF) and angiogenesis are crucial for brain repair and functional recovery after cerebral ischaemia. PTX3 promotes sustained long-term recovery of CBF, angiogenesis, and neuronal viability after cerebral ischaemia.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered as the most robust environmental risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Besides direct neuronal injury and neuroinflammation, vascular impairment is also a hallmark event of the pathological cascade after TBI. However, the vascular connection between TBI and subsequent AD pathogenesis remains underexplored.<h4>Methods</h4>In a closed-head mild TBI (mTBI) model in mice with controlled cortical impact, we examined the time courses of microvascular injury, blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, gliosis and motor function impairment in wild type C57BL/6 mice. We also evaluated the BBB integrity, amyloid pathology as well as cognitive functions after mTBI in the 5xFAD mouse model of AD.<h4>Results</h4>mTBI induced microvascular injury with BBB breakdown, pericyte loss, basement membrane alteration and cerebral blood flow reduction in mice, in which BBB breakdown preceded gliosis. More importantly, mTBI accelerated BBB leakage, amyloid pathology and cognitive impairment in the 5xFAD mice.<h4>Discussion</h4>Our data demonstrated that microvascular injury plays a key role in the pathogenesis of AD after mTBI. Therefore, restoring vascular functions might be beneficial for patients with mTBI, and potentially reduce the risk of developing AD.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a continuous endothelial membrane within brain microvessels that has sealed cell-to-cell contacts and is sheathed by mural vascular cells and perivascular astrocyte end-feet. The BBB protects neurons from factors present in the systemic circulation and maintains the highly regulated CNS internal milieu, which is required for proper synaptic and neuronal functioning. BBB disruption allows influx into the brain of neurotoxic blood-derived debris, cells and microbial pathogens and is associated with inflammatory and immune responses, which can initiate multiple pathways of neurodegeneration. This Review discusses neuroimaging studies in the living human brain and post-mortem tissue as well as biomarker studies demonstrating BBB breakdown in Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, HIV-1-associated dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The pathogenic mechanisms by which BBB breakdown leads to neuronal injury, synaptic dysfunction, loss of neuronal connectivity and neurodegeneration are described. The importance of a healthy BBB for therapeutic drug delivery and the adverse effects of disease-initiated, pathological BBB breakdown in relation to brain delivery of neuropharmaceuticals are briefly discussed. Finally, future directions, gaps in the field and opportunities to control the course of neurological diseases by targeting the BBB are presented.
Project description:Blood brain barrier (BBB) breakdown is not only a consequence of but also contributes to many neurological disorders, including stroke and Alzheimer's disease. How the basement membrane (BM) contributes to the normal functioning of the BBB remains elusive. Here we use conditional knockout mice and an acute adenovirus-mediated knockdown model to show that lack of astrocytic laminin, a brain-specific BM component, induces BBB breakdown. Using functional blocking antibody and RNAi, we further demonstrate that astrocytic laminin, by binding to integrin ?2 receptor, prevents pericyte differentiation from the BBB-stabilizing resting stage to the BBB-disrupting contractile stage, and thus maintains the integrity of BBB. Additionally, loss of astrocytic laminin decreases aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and tight junction protein expression. Altogether, we report a critical role for astrocytic laminin in BBB regulation and pericyte differentiation. These results indicate that astrocytic laminin maintains the integrity of BBB through, at least in part, regulation of pericyte differentiation.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggest that cerebral microvascular disease increases with advancing age and is associated with lacunar stroke, leukoaraiosis, vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease. Increased blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability/leakage takes "center stage" in ongoing age-related vascular/brain parenchymal injury. Although significant effort has been made in defining the gene mutations and risk factors involved in microvascular alterations in vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease, the intra- and intercellular pathogenic mechanisms responsible for vascular hyperpermeability are still largely unknown. The present study aimed to reveal the ongoing senescence process in brain endothelial cells and its effect on BBB integrity in healthy/non-disease conditions. An analysis of BBB integrity during the life span of C56Bl6 mice (young, 2-6?months; middle-aged, 6-12, months; old, 16-22?months) showed increased BBB permeability for different molecular sized tracers (sodium fluorescein, inulin and 20?kDa dextran) in aged mice which was accompanied by modifications in tight junction (TJ) complex organization, manifested as altered TJ protein expression (particularly claudin-5). A gene screening analysis of aging associated markers in brain microvessels isolated from "aged" mice (C56Bl6, 18-20?months) and human brain samples showed a significant decline in sirtuin-1 expression (Sirt1; ~2.8-fold) confirmed at mRNA and protein levels and by activation assay. Experiments in Sirt1 transgenic mice and brain endothelial cell-specific Sirt1 knockout mice indicated that Sirt1 affects BBB integrity, with loss increasing permeability. Similarly, in vitro, overexpressing Sirt1 or increasing Sirt1 activity with an agonist (Sirt1720) protected against senescence-induced brain endothelial barrier hyperpermeability, stabilized claudin-5/ZO-1 interactions and rescued claudin-5 expression. These findings reveal a novel role of Sirt1 in modulating aging-associated BBB persistent leakage.
Project description:In the CNS, pericytes are important for maintaining the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and for controlling blood flow. Recently, several methods were suggested for the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into brain mural cells, specifically pericytes or vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMCs). Unfortunately, identifying the pericytes from among such hPSC-derived mural cells has been challenging. This is due both to the lack of pericyte-specific markers and to the loss of defining anatomical information inherent to culture conditions. We therefore asked whether NeuroTrace 500/525, a newly developed dye that shows cell-specific uptake into pericytes in the mouse brain, can help identify human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived brain pericyte-like cells. First, we found that NeuroTrace 500/525 specifically stains primary cultured human brain pericytes, confirming its specificity in vitro. Second, we found that NeuroTrace 500/525 specifically labels hiPSC-derived pericyte-like cells, but not endothelial cells or vSMCs derived from the same hiPSCs. Last, we found that neuroectoderm-derived vSMCs, which have pericyte-like features, also take up NeuroTrace 500/525. These data indicate NeuroTrace 500/525 is useful for identifying pericyte-like cells among hiPSC-derived brain mural cells.
Project description:Damage to the cerebrovascular network is a major contributor to dysfunction in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Vessels are composed of lumen-forming endothelial cells that associate closely with both glial and neuronal units to establish a functional blood-brain barrier (BBB). Under normal physiological conditions, these vascular units play important roles in central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis by delivering oxygen and nutrients while filtering out molecules and cells that could be harmful; however, after TBI this system is disrupted. Here, we describe a novel role for a class of receptors, called dependence receptors, in regulating vessel stability and BBB integrity after CCI injury in mice. Specifically, we identified that EphB3 receptors function as a pro-apoptotic dependence receptor in endothelial cells (ECs) that contributes to increased BBB damage after CCI injury. In the absence of EphB3, we observed increased endothelial cell survival, reduced BBB permeability and enhanced interactions of astrocyte-EC membranes. Interestingly, the brain's response to CCI injury is to reduce EphB3 levels and its ligand ephrinB3; however, the degree and timing of those reductions limit the protective response of the CNS. We conclude that EphB3 is a negative regulator of cell survival and BBB integrity that undermine tissue repair, and represents a protective therapeutic target for TBI patients.