DOI: 10.3390/cells12242840 ISSN: 2073-4409

Amyloid Beta Oligomers Activate Death Receptors and Mitochondria-Mediated Apoptotic Pathways in Cerebral Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells; Protective Effects of Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors

Amy Anzovino, Elisa Canepa, Micaelly Alves, Nicole L. Lemon, Roxana O. Carare, Silvia Fossati
  • General Medicine

Amyloid beta (Aβ) deposition within the brain vasculature is an early hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which triggers loss of brain vascular smooth muscle cells (BVSMCs) in cerebral arteries, via poorly understood mechanisms, altering cerebral blood flow, brain waste clearance, and promoting cognitive impairment. We have previously shown that, in brain endothelial cells (ECs), vasculotropic Aβ species induce apoptosis through death receptors (DRs) DR4 and DR5 and mitochondria-mediated mechanisms, while FDA-approved carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (CAIs) prevent mitochondria-mediated EC apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we analyzed Aβ-induced extrinsic and intrinsic (DR- and mitochondria-mediated) apoptotic pathways in BVSMC, aiming to unveil new therapeutic targets to prevent BVSMC stress and death. We show that both apoptotic pathways are activated in BVSMCs by oligomeric Aβ42 and Aβ40-Q22 (AβQ22) and mitochondrial respiration is severely impaired. Importantly, the CAIs methazolamide (MTZ) and acetazolamide (ATZ) prevent the pro-apoptotic effects in BVSMCs, while reducing caspase 3 activation and Aβ deposition in the arterial walls of TgSwDI animals, a murine model of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). This study reveals new molecular targets and a promising therapeutic strategy against BVSMC dysfunction in AD, CAA, and ARIA (amyloid-related imaging abnormalities) complications of recently FDA-approved anti-Aβ antibodies.

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