Cerebral venous congestion promotes blood-brain barrier disruption and neuroinflammation, impairing cognitive function in mice

Fulop, Gabor A [Fülöp, Gábor Áron (Kardiológia), author] Cardiovascular Center (SU / FM / C); Ahire, Chetan*; Csipo, Tamas* [Csípő, Tamás (kardiológia, vasz...), author] Department of Public Health (SU / FM / I); Tarantini, Stefano* [Tarantini, Stefano (népegészségtan, g...), author] Department of Public Health (SU / FM / I); Kiss, Tamas* [Kiss, Tamás (gyermekgyógyászat), author] Department of Medical Physics and Informatics (USZ / ÁOK); Balasubramanian, Priya; Yabluchanskiy, Andriy; Farkas, Eszter; Toth, Attila [Tóth, Attila (Szív és érrendsze...), author] Klinikai Fiziológiai Tanszék (UD / KardI); Nyúl-Tóth, Ádám [Nyúl-Tóth, Ádám (biofizika), author] Institute of Biophysics (SZBK); Toth, Peter [Tóth, Péter József (Idegsebészet, cer...), author] Department of Neurosurgery (UP / UPMS); Institute for Translational Medicine (UP / UPMS); Neurotrauma Research Group (UP / SZRC); Csiszar, Anna [Csiszar, Anna (Orvostudomany), author] Department of Medical Physics and Informatics (USZ / ÁOK); Ungvari, Zoltan ✉ [Ungvári, Zoltán István (Orvostudomány, él...), author] Department of Public Health (SU / FM / I); Department of Medical Physics and Informatics (USZ / ÁOK)

English Scientific Article (Journal Article)
  • SJR Scopus - Complementary and Alternative Medicine: D1
Cognitive impairment is one of the most common co-occurring chronic conditions among elderly heart failure patients (incidence: up to ~ 80%); however, the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. It is hypothesized that in addition to decreased cardiac output, increases in central-and consequentially, cerebral-venous pressure (backward failure) also contribute significantly to the genesis of cognitive impairment. To test this hypothesis and elucidate the specific pathogenic role of venous congestion in the brain, we have established a novel model of increased cerebral venous pressure: mice with jugular vein ligation (JVL). To test the hypothesis that increased venous pressure in the brain contributes to the development of cognitive deficits by causing blood-brain barrier disruption, dysregulation of blood flow, and/or promoting neuroinflammation, in C57BL/6 mice, the internal and external jugular veins were ligated. Cognitive function (radial arm water maze), gait function (CatWalk), and motor coordination (rotarod) were tested post-JVL. Neurovascular coupling responses were assessed by measuring changes in cerebral blood flow in the whisker barrel cortex in response to contralateral whisker stimulation by laser speckle contrast imaging through a closed cranial window. Blood-brain barrier integrity (IgG extravasation) and microglia activation (Iba1 staining) were assessed in brain slices by immunohistochemistry. Neuroinflammation-related gene expression profile was assessed by a targeted qPCR array. After jugular vein ligation, mice exhibited impaired spatial learning and memory, altered motor coordination, and impaired gait function, mimicking important aspects of altered brain function observed in human heart failure patients. JVL did not alter neurovascular coupling responses. In the brains of mice with JVL, significant extravasation of IgG was detected, indicating blood-brain barrier disruption, which was associated with histological markers of neuroinflammation (increased presence of activated microglia) and a pro-inflammatory shift in gene expression profile. Thus, cerebral venous congestion per se can cause blood-brain barrier disruption and neuroinflammation, which likely contribute to the genesis of cognitive impairment. These findings have relevance to the pathogenesis of cognitive decline associated with heart failure as well as increased cerebal venous pressure due to increased jugular venous reflux in elderly human patients.
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2021-03-08 08:14