Amyloid-β disrupts unitary calcium entry through endothelial NMDA receptors in mouse cerebral arteries

  • Emily C. Peters (Creator)
  • Michael T. Gee (Creator)
  • Lukas N. Pawlowski (Creator)
  • Allison M. Kath (Creator)
  • Felipe D. Polk (Creator)
  • Christopher J. Vance (Creator)
  • Juliana L. Sacoman (Creator)
  • Paulo Pires (Creator)



Transient increases in intracellular Ca2+ activate endothelium-dependent vasodilatory pathways. This process is impaired in cerebral amyloid angiopathy, where amyloid-β(1-40) accumulates around blood vessels. In neurons, amyloid-β impairs the Ca2+-permeable N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR), a mediator of endothelium-dependent dilation in arteries. We hypothesized that amyloid-β(1-40) reduces NMDAR-elicited Ca2+ signals in mouse cerebral artery endothelial cells, blunting dilation. Cerebral arteries isolated from 4-5 months-old, male and female cdh5:Gcamp8 mice were used for imaging of unitary Ca2+ influx through NMDAR (NMDAR sparklets) and intracellular Ca2+ transients. The NMDAR agonist NMDA (10 µmol/L) increased frequency of NMDAR sparklets and intracellular Ca2+ transients in endothelial cells; these effects were prevented by NMDAR antagonists D-AP5 and MK-801. Next, we tested if amyloid-β(1-40) impairs NMDAR-elicited Ca2+ transients. Cerebral arteries incubated with amyloid-β(1-40) (5 µmol/L) exhibited reduced NMDAR sparklets and intracellular Ca2+ transients. Lastly, we observed that NMDA-induced dilation of pial arteries is reduced by acute intraluminal amyloid-β(1-40), as well as in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, the 5x-FAD, linked to downregulation of Grin1 mRNA compared to wild-type littermates. These data suggest that endothelial NMDAR mediate dilation via Ca2+-dependent pathways, a process disrupted by amyloid-β(1-40) and impaired in 5x-FAD mice.
Date made available2021
PublisherSAGE Journals

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