Modeling cerebrovascular pathophysiology in amyloid-β metabolism using neural-crest-derived smooth muscle cells

Cell Rep. 2014 Oct 9;9(1):391-401. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.08.065. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Abstract

There is growing recognition of cerebrovascular contributions to neurodegenerative diseases. In the walls of cerebral arteries, amyloid-beta (Aβ) accumulation is evident in a majority of aged people and patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Here, we leverage human pluripotent stem cells to generate vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) from neural crest progenitors, recapitulating brain-vasculature-specific attributes of Aβ metabolism. We confirm that the lipoprotein receptor, LRP1, functions in our neural-crest-derived SMCs to mediate Aβ uptake and intracellular lysosomal degradation. Hypoxia significantly compromises the contribution of SMCs to Aβ clearance by suppressing LRP1 expression. This enabled us to develop an assay of Aβ uptake by using the neural crest-derived SMCs with hypoxia as a stress paradigm. We then tested several vascular protective compounds in a high-throughput format, demonstrating the value of stem-cell-based phenotypic screening for novel therapeutics and drug repurposing, aimed at alleviating amyloid burden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Isomerase
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle
  • Neural Crest / metabolism*

Substances

  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Glucose-6-Phosphate Isomerase

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE55173