PS1 FAD mutants decrease ephrinB2-regulated angiogenic functions, ischemia-induced brain neovascularization and neuronal survival

Yone Jung Yoon, Georgios Voloudakis, Nathan Doran, Emily Zhang, Christina Dimovasili, Lei Chen, Zhiping Shao, Spyros Darmanis, Cheuk Tang, Jun Tang, Victoria X. Wang, Patrick R. Hof, Nikolaos K. Robakis, Anastasios Georgakopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Microvascular pathology and ischemic lesions contribute substantially to neuronal dysfunction and loss that lead to Alzheimer disease (AD). To facilitate recovery, the brain stimulates neovascularization of damaged tissue via sprouting angiogenesis, a process regulated by endothelial cell (EC) sprouting and the EphB4/ephrinB2 system. Here, we show that in cultures of brain ECs, EphB4 stimulates the VE-cadherin/Rok-α angiogenic complexes known to mediate sprouting angiogenesis. Importantly, brain EC cultures expressing PS1 FAD mutants decrease the EphB4-stimulated γ-secretase cleavage of ephrinB2 and reduce production of the angiogenic peptide ephrinB2/CTF2, the VE-cadherin angiogenic complexes and EC sprouting and tube formation. These data suggest that FAD mutants may attenuate ischemia-induced brain angiogenesis. Supporting this hypothesis, ischemia-induced VE-cadherin angiogenic complexes, levels of neoangiogenesis marker Endoglin, vascular density, and cerebral blood flow recovery, are all decreased in brains of mouse models expressing PS1 FAD mutants. Ischemia-induced brain neuronal death and cognitive deficits also increase in these mice. Furthermore, a small peptide comprising the C-terminal sequence of peptide ephrinB2/CTF2 rescues angiogenic functions of brain ECs expressing PS1 FAD mutants. Together, our data show that PS1 FAD mutations impede the EphB4/ephrinB2-mediated angiogenic functions of ECs and impair brain neovascularization, neuronal survival and cognitive recovery following ischemia. Furthermore, our data reveal a novel brain angiogenic mechanism targeted by PS1 FAD mutants and a potential therapeutic target for ischemia-induced neurodegeneration. Importantly, FAD mutant effects occur in absence of neuropathological hallmarks of AD, supporting that such hallmarks may form downstream of mutant effects on neoangiogenesis and neuronal survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1996-2012
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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