Loss of arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and abnormal accumulation of the extracellular domain of the NOTCH3 receptor (Notch3ECD) are the two core features of CADASIL, a common cerebral small vessel disease caused by highly stereotyped dominant mutations in NOTCH3. Yet, the relationship between NOTCH3 receptor activity, Notch3ECD accumulation and arterial SMC loss has remained elusive, hampering the development of disease-modifying therapies. Using dedicated histopathological and multiscale imaging modalities, we could detect and quantify previously undetectable CADASIL-driven arterial SMC loss in the central nervous system of mice expressing the archetypal Arg169Cys mutation. We found that arterial pathology was more severe and Notch3ECD accumulation greater in transgenic mice overexpressing the mutation on a wild-type Notch3 background (TgNotch3R169C) than in knock-in Notch3R170C/R170C mice expressing this mutation without a wild-type Notch3 copy. Notably, expression of Notch3-regulated genes was essentially unchanged in TgNotch3R169C arteries. We further showed that wild-type Notch3ECD co-aggregated with mutant Notch3ECD and that elimination of one copy of wild-type Notch3 in TgNotch3R169C was sufficient to attenuate Notch3ECD accumulation and arterial pathology. These findings suggest that Notch3ECD accumulation, involving mutant and wild-type NOTCH3, is a major driver of arterial SMC loss in CADASIL, paving the way for NOTCH3-lowering therapeutic strategies.
Nicolas Dupré, Florian Gueniot, Valérie Domenga-Denier, Virginie Dubosclard, Christelle Nilles, David Hill-Eubanks, Christelle Morgenthaler-Roth, Mark T. Nelson, Céline Keime, Lydia Danglot, Anne Joutel
Blood vessels are continually exposed to circulating lipids and elevations of ApoB containing lipoproteins cause atherosclerosis. Lipoprotein metabolism is highly regulated by lipolysis, largely at the level of the capillary endothelium lining metabolically active tissues. How large blood vessels, the site of atherosclerotic vascular disease, regulate the flux of fatty acids (FA) into triglyceride (TG) rich lipid droplets (LD) is not known. In this study, we showed that deletion of the enzyme, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in the endothelium, led to neutral lipid accumulation in vessels and impaired endothelial dependent vascular tone and nitric oxide synthesis to promote endothelial dysfunction. Mechanistically, the loss of ATGL led to endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced inflammation in the endothelium. Consistent with this mechanism, deletion of endothelial ATGL markedly increased lesion size in a model of atherosclerosis. Together, these data demonstrate that the dynamics of FA flux through LD impacts endothelial cell homeostasis and consequently large vessel function during normal physiology and in a chronic disease state.
Nabil E. Boutagy, Ana Gamez-Mendez, Joseph W.M. Fowler, Hanming Zhang, Bal K. Chaube, Enric Esplugues, Sungwoon Lee, Daiki Horikami, Jiasheng Zhang, Kathryn M. Citrin, Abhishek K. Singh, Brian G. Coon, Yajaira Suarez, Carlos Fernandez-Hernando, William C. Sessa
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a progressive cystic lung disease caused by tuberous sclerosis complex 1/2 (TSC1/2) gene mutations in pulmonary mesenchymal cells resulting in activation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). A subset of LAM patients develops pulmonary vascular remodeling and pulmonary hypertension. Little, however, is known regarding how LAM cells communicate with endothelial cells (ECs) to trigger vascular remodeling. In end-stage LAM lung explants, we identified endothelial cell dysfunction characterized by increased proliferation, migration, defective angiogenesis, and dysmorphic endothelial tube network formation. To model LAM disease, we utilized an mTORC1 gain-of-function mouse model with a Tsc2 knock-out (Tsc2KO) specific to lung mesenchyme (Tbx4LME-CreTsc2fl/fl), similar to the mesenchyme specific genetic alterations seen in human disease. As early as 8 weeks of age, ECs from Tbx4LME-CreTsc2fl/fl mice exhibited marked transcriptomic changes despite absence of morphological changes to the distal lung microvasculature. In contrast, 1 year old Tbx4LME-CreTsc2fl/fl mice spontaneously developed pulmonary vascular remodeling with increased medial thickness. Single cell RNA-sequencing of 1 year old mouse lung identified paracrine ligands originating from Tsc2KO mesenchyme which can signal through receptors in arterial ECs. These ECs had transcriptionally altered genes including those in pathways associated with blood vessel remodeling. The proposed pathophysiologic mesenchymal ligand/ EC receptor crosstalk highlights the importance of an altered mesenchymal-EC axis in LAM and other hyperactive mTORC1-driven diseases. Since ECs in LAM patients and in Tbx4LME-CreTsc2fl/fl mice do not harbor TSC2 mutations, our study demonstrates that constitutively active mTORC1 lung mesenchymal cells orchestrate dysfunctional EC responses which contribute to pulmonary vascular remodeling.
Susan M. Lin, Ryan Rue, Alexander R. Mukhitov, Akansha Goel, Maria C. Basil, Kseniya Obraztsova, Apoorva Babu, Slaven Crnkovic, Owen Ledwell, Laura T. Ferguson, Joseph D. Planer, Ana N. Nottingham, Kanth Swaroop Vanka, Carly J. Smith, Edward Cantu III, Grazyna Kwapiszewska, Edward E. Morrisey, Jillian F. Evans, Vera P. Krymskaya
Blood–brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a serious pathological consequence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), for which there are limited therapeutic strategies. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP2), a molecule with dual functions of inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and displaying cytokine-like activity through receptor binding, has been reported to inhibit VEGF-induced vascular hyperpermeability. Here, we investigate the ability of TIMP2 to ameliorate BBB disruption in TBI and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Both TIMP2 and AlaTIMP2, a TIMP2 mutant without MMP-inhibiting activity, attenuated neurological deficits and BBB leakage in TBI mice, as well as inhibited junctional protein degradation and translocation to reduce paracellular permeability in HBMECs exposed to hypoxic plus inflammatory insult. Mechanistic studies revealed that TIMP2 interacted with integrin α3β1 on endothelial cells (ECs), inhibiting Src activation-dependent VE-Cadherin phosphorylation, VE-Cadherin/catenin complex destabilization and subsequent VE-Cadherin internalization. Notably, localization of VE-Cadherin on the membrane was critical for TIMP2-mediated EC barrier integrity. Furthermore, TIMP2-mediated increased membrane localization of VE-Cadherin enhanced the level of active Rac1, thereby inhibiting stress fiber formation. Together, our studies have identified an MMP-independent mechanism by which TIMP2 regulates EC barrier integrity after TBI. TIMP2 may be a therapeutic agent for TBI and other neurological disorders involving BBB breakdown.
Jingshu Tang, Yuying Kang, Yujun Zhou, Nianying Shang, Xinnan Li, Hongyue Wang, Jiaqi Lan, Shuai Wang, Lei Wu, Ying Peng
Vascular aging impacts multiple organ systems, including the brain, where it can lead to vascular dementia. However, a concrete understanding of how aging specifically affects the brain vasculature, along with molecular read-outs, remain vastly incomplete. Here we demonstrate that aging is associated with a marked decline in Notch3 signaling in both murine and human brain vessels. To clarify the consequences of Notch3 loss in the brain vasculature, we used single-cell transcriptomics and uncovered that Notch3 inactivation alters regulation of calcium, contractile function, and promotes a notable increase in extracellular matrix. These alterations adversely impact vascular reactivity, manifesting as dilation, tortuosity, microaneurysms, and decreased cerebral blood flow, as observed by MRI. Combined, these vascular impairments hinder glymphatic flow and result in buildup of glycosaminoglycans within the brain parenchyma. Remarkably, this phenomenon mirrors a key pathological feature found in brains of CADASIL patients – a hereditary vascular dementia associated with NOTCH3 missense mutations. Additionally, single-cell RNA sequencing of the neuronal compartment in aging Notch3 null mice has unveiled patterns reminiscent of those observed in neurodegenerative diseases. These findings offer direct evidence that age-related NOTCH3 deficiencies trigger a progressive decline in vascular function, subsequently affecting glymphatic flow and culminating in neurodegeneration.
Milagros C. Romay, Russell H. Knutsen, Feiyang Ma, Ana Mompeón, Gloria E. Hernandez, Jocelynda Salvador, Snezana Mirkov, Ayush Batra, David P. Sullivan, Daniele Procissi, Samuel Buchanan, Elise Kronquist, Elisa A. Ferrante, William A. Muller, Jordain Walshon, Alicia Steffens, Kathleen McCortney, Craig Horbinski, Elisabeth Tournier‑Lasserve, Adam M. Sonabend, Farzaneh A. Sorond, MichaelM. Wang, Manfred Boehm, Beth A. Kozel, M. Luisa Iruela-Arispe
Skull development coincides with the onset of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulation, brain-CSF perfusion, and meningeal lymphangiogenesis, processes essential for brain waste clearance. How these processes are affected by craniofacial disorders such as craniosynostosis are poorly understood. We report that raised intracranial pressure and diminished CSF flow in craniosynostosis mouse models associates with pathological changes to meningeal lymphatic vessels that affect their sprouting, expansion, and long-term maintenance. We also show that craniosynostosis affects CSF circulatory pathways and perfusion into the brain. Further, craniosynostosis exacerbates amyloid pathology and plaque buildup in Twist1+/-:5xFAD transgenic Alzheimer’s disease models. Treating craniosynostosis mice with Yoda1, a small molecule agonist for Piezo1, reduces intracranial pressure and improves CSF flow, in addition to restoring meningeal lymphangiogenesis, drainage to the deep cervical lymph nodes, and brain-CSF perfusion. Leveraging these findings, we show Yoda1 treatments in aged mice with reduced CSF flow and turnover improve lymphatic networks, drainage, and brain-CSF perfusion. Our results suggest CSF provides mechanical force to facilitate meningeal lymphatic growth and maintenance. Additionally, applying Yoda1 agonist in conditions with raised intracranial pressure and/or diminished CSF flow, as seen in craniosynostosis or with ageing, is a possible therapeutic option to help restore meningeal lymphatic networks and brain-CSF perfusion.
Matt J. Matrongolo, Phillip S. Ang, Junbing Wu, Aditya Jain, Joshua K. Thackray, Akash G. Reddy, Chi Chang Sung, Gaetan Barbet, Young-Kwon Hong, Max A. Tischfield
Reactivation and dysregulation of the mTOR signaling pathway is a hallmark of aging and chronic lung disease, however the impact on microvascular progenitor cells (MVPC), capillary angiostasis and tissue homeostasis is unknown. While the existence of an adult lung vascular progenitor has long been hypothesized, these studies show that Abcg2 enriches for a population of angiogenic tissue resident MVPC present in both adult mouse and human lungs using functional, lineage and transcriptomic analyses. These studies link human and mouse MVPC specific mTORC1 activation to decreased stemness, angiogenic potential, disruption of p53 and Wnt pathways, with consequent loss of alveolar-capillary structure and function. Following mTOR activation these MVPC adapt a unique transcriptome signature and emerge as a venous subpopulation in the angiodiverse microvascular endothelial subclusters. Thus, our findings support a significant role for mTOR in the maintenance of MVPC function, microvascular niche homeostasis as well as a cell-based mechanism driving loss of tissue structure underlying lung aging and the development of emphysema.
Emma C. Mason, Swapna Menon, Benjamin R. Schneider, Christa F. Gaskill, Maggie M. Dawson, Camille M. Moore, Laura Craig Armstrong, Okyong J. Cho, Bradley W. Richmond, Jonathan A. Kropski, James D. West, Patrick Geraghty, Brigitte N. Gomperts, Kevin C. Ess, Fabienne Gally, Susan M. Majka
Why apolipoprotein AV (APOA5) deficiency causes hypertriglyceridemia has remained unclear, but we suspected that the underlying cause was reduced amounts of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in capillaries. By routine immunohistochemistry, we observed reduced LPL staining of heart and brown adipose tissue (BAT) capillaries in Apoa5–/– mice. Also, after an intravenous injection of LPL-, CD31-, and GPIHBP1-specific monoclonal antibodies, the binding of LPL antibodies to heart and BAT capillaries (relative to CD31 or GPIHBP1 antibodies) was reduced in Apoa5–/– mice. LPL levels in the postheparin plasma were also lower in Apoa5–/– mice. We suspected that a recent biochemical observation—that APOA5 binds to the ANGPTL3/8 complex and suppresses its capacity to inhibit LPL catalytic activity—could be related to the low intracapillary LPL levels in Apoa5–/– mice. We showed that an ANGPTL3/8-specific monoclonal antibody (IBA490) and APOA5 normalize plasma triglyceride levels and intracapillary LPL levels in Apoa5–/– mice. We also showed that ANGPTL3/8 detaches LPL from HSPGs and GPIHBP1 on the surface of cells and that the LPL detachment is blocked by IBA490 and APOA5. Our studies explain the hypertriglyceridemia in Apoa5–/– mice and further illuminate the molecular mechanisms that regulate plasma triglyceride metabolism.
Ye Yang, Anne P. Beigneux, Wenxin Song, Le Phuong Nguyen, Hyesoo Jung, Yiping Tu, Thomas A. Weston, Caitlyn M. Tran, Katherine Xie, Rachel G. Yu, Anh P. Tran, Kazuya Miyashita, Katsuyuki Nakajima, Masami Murakami, Yan Q. Chen, Eugene Y. Zhen, Joonyoung R. Kim, Paul H. Kim, Gabriel Birrane, Peter Tontonoz, Michael Ploug, Robert J. Konrad, Loren G. Fong, Stephen G. Young
Brain vascular calcification is a prevalent age-related condition often accompanying neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. The pathogenesis of large vessel calcifications in peripheral tissue is well-studied, but microvascular calcification in the brain remains poorly understood. Here, we report that elevated platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) from bone preosteoclasts contribute to cerebrovascular calcification in male mice. Aged male mice exhibited higher serum PDGF-BB levels and a significantly higher incidence of brain calcification compared to young mice, mainly in the thalamus. Transgenic mice with preosteoclast-specific Pdgfb overexpression exhibited elevation of serum PDGF-BB levels and recapitulated age-associated thalamic calcification. Conversely, mice with preosteoclast-specific Pdgfb deletion displayed diminished age-associated thalamic calcification. In an ex vivo cerebral microvascular culture system, PDGF-BB dose-dependently promoted vascular calcification. Analysis of osteogenic gene array and single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that PDGF-BB upregulates multiple osteogenic differentiation genes and the phosphate transporter Slc20a1 in cerebral microvessels. Mechanistically, PDGF-BB stimulated the phosphorylation of its receptor PDGFRβ (pPDGFRβ) and ERK (p-ERK), leading to the activation of RUNX2. This activation, in turn, induced the transcription of the osteoblast differentiation genes in pericytes and upregulated Slc20a1 in astrocytes. Thus, bone-derived PDGF-BB induces brain vascular calcification by activating the pPDGFRβ/p-ERK/RUNX2 signaling cascade in cerebrovascular cells.
Jiekang Wang, Ching-Lien Fang, Kathleen Noller, Zhiliang Wei, Guanqiao Liu, Ke Shen, Kangping Song, Xu Cao, Mei Wan
The endothelium plays a critical role in the host response to infection, and has been a focus of investigation in sepsis. While it is appreciated that intravascular thrombus formation, severe inflammation, and loss of endothelial integrity impair tissue oxygenation during sepsis, the precise molecular mechanisms that lead to endothelial injury remain poorly understood. We demonstrate herein that endothelial ADAM10 is essential for the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus sepsis, contributing to a-toxin (Hla)-mediated microvascular thrombus formation and lethality. As ADAM10 is essential for endothelial development and homeostasis, we examined whether other major human sepsis pathogens also rely on ADAM10-dependent pathways in pathogenesis. Mice harboring an endothelial-specific knockout of ADAM10 are protected against lethal Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis, yet remain fully susceptible to Group B Streptococci and Candida albicans sepsis. These studies illustrate a previously unknown role for ADAM10 in sepsis-associated endothelial injury, and suggest that understanding pathogen-specific divergent host pathways in sepsis may enable more precise targeting of disease.
Danielle N. Alfano, Mark J. Miller, Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg