Tau reduction in aged mice does not impact Microangiopathy

Rachel E. Bennett, Miwei Hu, Analiese Fernandes, Marta Perez-Rando, Ashley Robbins, Tarun Kamath, Simon Dujardin, Bradley T. Hyman
2020 Acta Neuropathologica Communications  
Microangiopathy, including proliferation of small diameter capillaries, increasing vessel tortuosity, and increased capillary blockage by leukocytes, was previously observed in the aged rTg4510 mouse model. Similar gene expression changes related to angiogenesis were observed in both rTg4510 and Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is uncertain if tau is directly responsible for these vascular changes by interacting directly with microvessels, and/or if it contributes indirectly via neurodegeneration
more » ... d concurrent neuronal loss and inflammation. To better understand the nature of tau-related microangiopathy in human AD and in tau mice, we isolated capillaries and observed that bioactive soluble tau protein could be readily detected in association with vasculature. To examine whether this soluble tau is directly responsible for the microangiopathic changes, we made use of the tetracycline-repressible gene expression cassette in the rTg4510 mouse model and measured vascular pathology following tau reduction. These data suggest that reduction of tau is insufficient to alter established microvascular complications including morphological alterations, enhanced expression of inflammatory genes involved in leukocyte adherence, and blood brain barrier compromise. These data imply that 1) soluble bioactive tau surprisingly accumulates at the blood brain barrier in human brain and in mouse models, and 2) the morphological and molecular phenotype of microvascular disturbance does not resolve with reduction of whole brain soluble tau. Additional consideration of vascular-directed therapies and strategies that target tau in the vascular space may be required to restore normal function in neurodegenerative disease.
doi:10.1186/s40478-020-01014-4 pmid:32811565 fatcat:it2dnd57rvhrzngvyjvlkfmr6m