CU06-1004 (endothelial dysfunction blocker) ameliorates astrocyte end-feet swelling by stabilizing endothelial cell junctions in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.
ABSTRACT: Cerebral ischemia, or stroke, is widespread leading cause of death and disability. Surgical and pharmacological interventions that recover blood flow are the most effective treatment strategies for stroke patients. However, restoring the blood supply is accompanied by severe reperfusion injury, with edema and astrocyte end-feet disruption. Here, we report that the oral administration of CU06-1004 (previously Sac-1004), immediately after onset of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), ameliorated cerebral damage. CU06-1004 stabilized blood?brain barrier by inhibiting the disruption of the tight junction-related protein zona occludens-1 and the cortical actin ring in endothelial cells (ECs) after I/R. Interestingly, CU06-1004 significantly suppressed astrocyte end-feet swelling following I/R, by reducing aquaporin 4 and connexin 43 levels, which mediates swelling. Furthermore, the degradation of ?1-integrin and ?-dystroglycan, which anchors to the cortical actin ring in ECs, was inhibited by CU06-1004 administration after I/R. Consistently, CU06-1004 administration following I/R also suppressed the loss of laminin and collagen type IV, which bind to the cortical actin ring anchoring proteins. Unlike the protective effects of CU06-1004 in ECs, astrocyte viability and proliferation were not directly affected. Taken together, our observations suggest that CU06-1004 inhibits I/R-induced cerebral edema and astrocyte end-feet swelling by maintaining EC junction stability. KEY MESSAGES: • CU06-1004 ameliorates I/R-induced cerebral injury. • EC junction integrity was stabilized by CU06-1004 treatment after I/R. • CU06-1004 reduces astrocyte end-feet swelling following I/R. • EC junction stability affects astrocyte end-feet structure maintenance after I/R.
Project description:Cerebral endothelial cells (ECs) require junctional proteins to maintain blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity, restricting toxic substances and controlling peripheral immune cells with a higher concentration of mitochondria than ECs of peripheral capillaries. The mechanism underlying BBB disruption by defective mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) is unclear in a mitochondria-related gene-targeted animal model. To assess the role of EC mitochondrial OxPhos function in the maintenance of the BBB, we developed an EC-specific <i>CR6-interactin factor1</i> (<i>Crif1</i>) deletion mouse. We clearly observed defects in motor behavior, uncompacted myelin and leukocyte infiltration caused by BBB maturation and disruption in this mice. Furthermore, we investigated the alteration in the actin cytoskeleton, which interacts with junctional proteins to support BBB integrity. Loss of <i>Crif1</i> led to reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and a decrease in tight junction-associated protein expression through an ATP production defect in vitro and in vivo. Based on these results, we suggest that mitochondrial OxPhos is important for the maturation and maintenance of BBB integrity by supplying ATP to cerebral ECs.
Project description:Background The function of medin, one of the most common human amyloid proteins that accumulates in the vasculature with aging, remains unknown. We aim to probe medin's role in cerebrovascular disease by comparing cerebral arterial medin content between cognitively normal and vascular dementia (VaD) patients and studying its effects on endothelial cell (EC) immune activation and neuroinflammation. We also tested whether monosialoganglioside-containing nanoliposomes could reverse medin's adverse effects. Methods and Results Cerebral artery medin and astrocyte activation were measured and compared between VaD and cognitively normal elderly brain donors. ECs were exposed to physiologic dose of medin (5 ?mol/L), and viability and immune activation (interleukin-8, interleukin-6, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) were measured without or with monosialoganglioside-containing nanoliposomes (300 ?g/mL). Astrocytes were exposed to vehicle, medin, medin-treated ECs, or their conditioned media, and interleukin-8 production was compared. Cerebral collateral arterial and parenchymal arteriole medin, white matter lesion scores, and astrocyte activation were higher in VaD versus cognitively normal donors. Medin induced EC immune activation (increased interleukin-8, interleukin-6, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) and reduced EC viability, which were reversed by monosialoganglioside-containing nanoliposomes. Interleukin-8 production was augmented when astrocytes were exposed to medin-treated ECs or their conditioned media. Conclusions Cerebral arterial medin is higher in VaD compared with cognitively normal patients. Medin induces EC immune activation that modulates astrocyte activation, and its effects are reversed by monosialoganglioside-containing nanoliposomes. Medin is a candidate novel risk factor for aging-related cerebrovascular disease and VaD.
Project description:Blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown and inflammation are critical events in ischemic stroke, contributing to aggravated brain damage. The BBB mainly consists of microvascular endothelial cells sealed by tight junctions to protect the brain from blood-borne substances. Thus, the maintenance of BBB integrity may be a potential target for neuroprotection. Sac-1004, a pseudo-sugar derivative of cholesterol, enhances the endothelial barrier by the stabilization of the cortical actin ring.Here, we report on the protective effects of Sac-1004 on cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Treatment with Sac-1004 significantly blocked the interleukin-1?-induced monolayer hyperpermeability of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), loss of tight junctions, and formation of actin stress fiber. Sac-1004 suppressed the expression of adhesion molecules, adhesion of U937 cells, and activation of nuclear factor-?B in HBMECs. Using a rat model of transient focal cerebral ischemia, it was shown that Sac-1004 effectively ameliorated neurological deficits and ischemic damage. In addition, Sac-1004 decreased BBB leakage and rescued tight junction-related proteins. Moreover, the staining of CD11b and glial fibrillary acidic protein showed that Sac-1004 inhibited glial activation.Taken together, these results demonstrate that Sac-1004 has neuroprotective activities through maintaining BBB integrity, suggesting that it is a great therapeutic candidate for stroke.
Project description:Angiogenesis is a multistep process that requires coordinated migration, proliferation, and junction formation of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) to form new vessel branches in response to growth stimuli. Major intracellular signaling pathways that regulate angiogenesis have been well elucidated, but key transcriptional regulators that mediate these signaling pathways and control EC behaviors are only beginning to be understood. Here, we show that YAP/TAZ, a transcriptional coactivator that acts as an end effector of Hippo signaling, is critical for sprouting angiogenesis and vascular barrier formation and maturation. In mice, endothelial-specific deletion of Yap/Taz led to blunted-end, aneurysm-like tip ECs with fewer and dysmorphic filopodia at the vascular front, a hyper-pruned vascular network, reduced and disarranged distributions of tight and adherens junction proteins, disrupted barrier integrity, subsequent hemorrhage in growing retina and brain vessels, and reduced pathological choroidal neovascularization. Mechanistically, YAP/TAZ activates actin cytoskeleton remodeling, an important component of filopodia formation and junction assembly. Moreover, YAP/TAZ coordinates EC proliferation and metabolic activity by upregulating MYC signaling. Overall, these results show that YAP/TAZ plays multifaceted roles for EC behaviors, proliferation, junction assembly, and metabolism in sprouting angiogenesis and barrier formation and maturation and could be a potential therapeutic target for treating neovascular diseases.
Project description:Blood-brain barrier breakdown worsens ischaemic damage, but it is unclear how molecules breach the blood-brain barrier in vivo. Using the obese ob/ob mouse as a model of enhanced blood-brain barrier breakdown, we investigated how stroke-induced structural changes to the microvasculature related to blood-brain barrier permeability. Ob/ob mice underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by 4 or 24 h reperfusion. Blood-brain barrier integrity was assessed using IgG and horseradish peroxidase staining, and blood-brain barrier structure by two-dimensional and three-dimensional electron microscopy. At 4 and 24 h post-stroke, ob/ob mice had increased ischaemic damage and blood-brain barrier breakdown compared to ob/- controls, and vessels from both genotypes showed astrocyte end-foot swelling and increased endothelial vesicles. Ob/ob mice had significantly more endothelial vesicles at 4 h in the striatum, where blood-brain barrier breakdown was most severe. Both stroke and genotype had no effect on tight junction structure visualised by electron microscopy, or protein expression in isolated microvessels. Astrocyte swelling severity did not correlate with tissue outcome, being unaffected by genotype or reperfusion times. However, the rare instances of vessel lumen collapse were always associated with severe astrocyte swelling in two-dimensional and three-dimensional electron microscopy. Endothelial vesicles were therefore the best spatial and temporal indicators of blood-brain barrier breakdown after cerebral ischaemia.
Project description:Convincing evidence demonstrated impairment of the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), mainly by endothelial cell (EC) alterations. Replacing damaged ECs by cell transplantation is a potential barrier repair strategy. Recently, we showed that intravenous (iv) administration of human bone marrow CD34+ (hBM34+) cells into symptomatic ALS mice benefits BSCB restoration and postpones disease progression. However, delayed effect on motor function and some severely damaged capillaries were noted. We hypothesized that hematopoietic cells from a restricted lineage would be more effective. This study aimed to establish the effects of human bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (hBMEPCs) systemically transplanted into G93A mice at symptomatic disease stage. Results showed that transplanted hBMEPCs significantly improved behavioral disease outcomes, engrafted widely into capillaries of the gray/white matter spinal cord and brain motor cortex/brainstem, substantially restored capillary ultrastructure, significantly decreased EB extravasation into spinal cord parenchyma, meaningfully re-established perivascular astrocyte end-feet, and enhanced spinal cord motor neuron survival. These results provide novel evidence that transplantation of hBMEPCs effectively repairs the BSCB, potentially preventing entry of detrimental peripheral factors, including immune/inflammatory cells, which contribute to motor neuron dysfunction. Transplanting EC progenitor cells may be a promising strategy for barrier repair therapy in this disease.
Project description:Establishment and stabilization of endothelial tubes with patent lumens is vital during vertebrate development. Ras-interacting protein 1 (RASIP1) has been described as an essential regulator of de novo lumenogenesis through modulation of endothelial cell (EC) adhesion to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here, we show that in mouse and zebrafish embryos, Rasip1-deficient vessels transition from an angioblast cord to a hollow tube, permit circulation of primitive erythrocytes, but ultimately collapse, leading to hemorrhage and embryonic lethality. Knockdown of RASIP1 does not alter EC-ECM adhesion, but causes cell-cell detachment and increases permeability of EC monolayers in vitro. We also found that endogenous RASIP1 in ECs binds Ras-related protein 1 (RAP1), but not Ras homolog gene family member A or cell division control protein 42 homolog. Using an exchange protein directly activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate 1 (EPAC1)-RAP1-dependent model of nascent junction formation, we demonstrate that a fraction of the RASIP1 protein pool localizes to cell-cell contacts. Loss of RASIP1 phenocopies loss of RAP1 or EPAC1 in ECs by altering junctional actin organization, localization of the actin-bundling protein nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIB, and junction remodeling. Our data show that RASIP1 regulates the integrity of newly formed blood vessels as an effector of EPAC1-RAP1 signaling.
Project description:The age- and disease-dependent presence of microvessels within heart valves is an understudied characteristic of these tissues. Neovascularization involves endothelial cell (EC) migration and cytoskeletal reorientation, which are heavily regulated by the Rho family of GTPases. Given that valve ECs demonstrate unique mesenchymal transdifferentiation and cytoskeletal mechanoresponsiveness, compared to vascular ECs, this study quantified the effect of inhibiting two members of the Rho family on vasculogenic network formation by valve ECs.A tubule-like structure vasculogenesis assay (assessing lacunarity, junction density, and vessel density) was performed with porcine aortic valve ECs treated with small molecule inhibitors of Rho-associated serine-threonine protein kinase (ROCK), Y-27632, or the Rac1 inhibitor, NSC-23766. Actin coordination, cell number, and cell migration were assessed through immunocytochemistry, MTT assay, and scratch wound healing assay. ROCK inhibition reduced network lacunarity and interrupted proper cell-cell adhesion and actin coordination. Rac1 inhibition increased lacunarity and delayed actin-mediated network formation. ROCK inhibition alone significantly inhibited migration, whereas both ROCK and Rac1 inhibition significantly reduced cell number over time compared to controls. Compared to a vascular EC line, the valve ECs generated a network with larger total vessel length, but a less smooth appearance.Both ROCK and Rac1 inhibition interfered with key processes in vascular network formation by valve ECs. This is the first report of manipulation of valve EC vasculogenic organization in response to small molecule inhibitors. Further study is warranted to comprehend this facet of valvular cell biology and pathology and how it differs from vascular biology.
Project description:During focal cerebral ischemia, the detachment of astrocytes from the microvascular basal lamina is not completely explained by known integrin receptor expression changes. Here, the impact of experimental ischemia (oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)) on dystroglycan expression by murine endothelial cells and astrocytes grown on vascular matrix laminin, perlecan, or collagen and the impact of middle cerebral artery occlusion on alphabeta-dystroglycan within cerebral microvessels of the nonhuman primate were examined. Dystroglycan was expressed on all cerebral microvessels in cortical gray and white matter, and the striatum. Astrocyte adhesion to basal lamina proteins was managed in part by alpha-dystroglycan, while ischemia significantly reduced expression of dystroglycan both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, dystroglycan and integrin alpha6beta4 expressions on astrocyte end-feet decreased in parallel both in vivo and in vitro. The rapid loss of astrocyte dystroglycan during OGD appears protease-dependent, involving an matrix metalloproteinase-like activity. This may explain the rapid detachment of astrocytes from the microvascular basal lamina during ischemic injury, which could contribute to significant changes in microvascular integrity.
Project description:The mechanism and long-term consequences of early blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption after cerebral ischaemic/reperfusion (I/R) injury are poorly understood. Here we discover that I/R induces subtle BBB leakage within 30-60?min, likely independent of gelatinase B/MMP-9 activities. The early BBB disruption is caused by the activation of ROCK/MLC signalling, persistent actin polymerization and the disassembly of junctional proteins within microvascular endothelial cells (ECs). Furthermore, the EC alterations facilitate subsequent infiltration of peripheral immune cells, including MMP-9-producing neutrophils/macrophages, resulting in late-onset, irreversible BBB damage. Inactivation of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF) causes sustained actin polymerization in ECs, whereas EC-targeted overexpression of constitutively active mutant ADF reduces actin polymerization and junctional protein disassembly, attenuates both early- and late-onset BBB impairment, and improves long-term histological and neurological outcomes. Thus, we identify a previously unexplored role for early BBB disruption in stroke outcomes, whereby BBB rupture may be a cause rather than a consequence of parenchymal cell injury.