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      Neurovascular dysfunction, inflammation and endothelial activation: Implications for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease

      review-article
      1 ,
      Journal of Neuroinflammation
      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and dementia. Alzheimer's disease is an increasingly prevalent disease with 5.3 million people in the United States currently affected. This number is a 10 percent increase from previous estimates and is projected to sharply increase to 8 million by 2030; it is the sixth-leading cause of death. In the United States the direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $172 billion each year. Despite intense research efforts, effective disease-modifying therapies for this devastating disease remain elusive. At present, the few agents that are FDA-approved for the treatment of AD have demonstrated only modest effects in modifying clinical symptoms for relatively short periods and none has shown a clear effect on disease progression. New therapeutic approaches are desperately needed. Although the idea that vascular defects are present in AD and may be important in disease pathogenesis was suggested over 25 years ago, little work has focused on an active role for cerebrovascular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AD. Nevertheless, increasing literature supports a vascular-neuronal axis in AD as shared risk factors for both AD and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease implicate vascular mechanisms in the development and/or progression of AD. Also, chronic inflammation is closely associated with cardiovascular disease, as well as a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases of aging including AD. In this review we summarize data regarding, cardiovascular risk factors and vascular abnormalities, neuro- and vascular-inflammation, and brain endothelial dysfunction in AD. We conclude that the endothelial interface, a highly synthetic bioreactor that produces a large number of soluble factors, is functionally altered in AD and contributes to a noxious CNS milieu by releasing inflammatory and neurotoxic species.

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          Most cited references148

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          Inflammation and Alzheimer's disease.

          Inflammation clearly occurs in pathologically vulnerable regions of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain, and it does so with the full complexity of local peripheral inflammatory responses. In the periphery, degenerating tissue and the deposition of highly insoluble abnormal materials are classical stimulants of inflammation. Likewise, in the AD brain damaged neurons and neurites and highly insoluble amyloid beta peptide deposits and neurofibrillary tangles provide obvious stimuli for inflammation. Because these stimuli are discrete, microlocalized, and present from early preclinical to terminal stages of AD, local upregulation of complement, cytokines, acute phase reactants, and other inflammatory mediators is also discrete, microlocalized, and chronic. Cumulated over many years, direct and bystander damage from AD inflammatory mechanisms is likely to significantly exacerbate the very pathogenic processes that gave rise to it. Thus, animal models and clinical studies, although still in their infancy, strongly suggest that AD inflammation significantly contributes to AD pathogenesis. By better understanding AD inflammatory and immunoregulatory processes, it should be possible to develop anti-inflammatory approaches that may not cure AD but will likely help slow the progression or delay the onset of this devastating disorder.
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            RAGE mediates amyloid-beta peptide transport across the blood-brain barrier and accumulation in brain.

            Amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta) interacts with the vasculature to influence Abeta levels in the brain and cerebral blood flow, providing a means of amplifying the Abeta-induced cellular stress underlying neuronal dysfunction and dementia. Systemic Abeta infusion and studies in genetically manipulated mice show that Abeta interaction with receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)-bearing cells in the vessel wall results in transport of Abeta across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and endothelin-1 (ET-1), the latter mediating Abeta-induced vasoconstriction. Inhibition of RAGE-ligand interaction suppresses accumulation of Abeta in brain parenchyma in a mouse transgenic model. These findings suggest that vascular RAGE is a target for inhibiting pathogenic consequences of Abeta-vascular interactions, including development of cerebral amyloidosis.
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              Apolipoprotein E: high-avidity binding to beta-amyloid and increased frequency of type 4 allele in late-onset familial Alzheimer disease.

              Apolipoprotein E is immunochemically localized to the senile plaques, vascular amyloid, and neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer disease. In vitro, apolipoprotein E in cerebrospinal fluid binds to synthetic beta A4 peptide (the primary constituent of the senile plaque) with high avidity. Amino acids 12-28 of the beta A4 peptide are required. The gene for apolipoprotein E is located on chromosome 19q13.2, within the region previously associated with linkage of late-onset familial Alzheimer disease. Analysis of apolipoprotein E alleles in Alzheimer disease and controls demonstrated that there was a highly significant association of apolipoprotein E type 4 allele (APOE-epsilon 4) and late-onset familial Alzheimer disease. The allele frequency of the APOE-epsilon 4 in 30 random affected patients, each from a different Alzheimer disease family, was 0.50 +/- 0.06; the allele frequency of APOE-epsilon 4 in 91 age-matched unrelated controls was 0.16 +/- 0.03 (Z = 2.44, P = 0.014). A functional role of the apolipoprotein E-E4 isoform in the pathogenesis of late-onset familial Alzheimer disease is suggested.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Neuroinflammation
                Journal of Neuroinflammation
                BioMed Central
                1742-2094
                2011
                25 March 2011
                : 8
                : 26
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Garrison Institute on Aging, and Department of Neurology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA
                Article
                1742-2094-8-26
                10.1186/1742-2094-8-26
                3072921
                21439035
                773ea784-0679-496a-8581-aa43c5efdc7c
                Copyright ©2011 Grammas; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Neurosciences
                Neurosciences

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