Mechanistic insights into a TIMP3-sensitive pathway constitutively engaged in the regulation of cerebral hemodynamics

Elife. 2016 Aug 1:5:e17536. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17536.


Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is a leading cause of stroke and dementia. CADASIL, an inherited SVD, alters cerebral artery function, compromising blood flow to the working brain. TIMP3 (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3) accumulation in the vascular extracellular matrix in CADASIL is a key contributor to cerebrovascular dysfunction. However, the linkage between elevated TIMP3 and compromised cerebral blood flow (CBF) remains unknown. Here, we show that TIMP3 acts through inhibition of the metalloprotease ADAM17 and HB-EGF to regulate cerebral arterial tone and blood flow responses. In a clinically relevant CADASIL mouse model, we show that exogenous ADAM17 or HB-EGF restores cerebral arterial tone and blood flow responses, and identify upregulated voltage-dependent potassium channel (KV) number in cerebral arterial myocytes as a heretofore-unrecognized downstream effector of TIMP3-induced deficits. These results support the concept that the balance of TIMP3 and ADAM17 activity modulates CBF through regulation of myocyte KV channel number.

Keywords: ADAM17; CADASIL; cerebral blood flow; cerebral small vessel disease; human biology; medicine; mouse; myogenic tone; neuroscience; voltage-gated potassium channel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ADAM17 Protein / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • CADASIL / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / metabolism
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3 / metabolism*


  • Heparin-binding EGF-like Growth Factor
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3
  • ADAM17 Protein