Endothelial TRPV4 channels mediate dilation of cerebral arteries: impairment and recovery in cerebrovascular pathologies related to Alzheimer's disease

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Transient receptor potential vanilloid type 4 (TRPV4) channels are expressed in brain endothelial cells, but their role in regulating cerebrovascular tone under physiological and pathological conditions is still largely unknown.


Wild-type (WT) mice and mice that overexpress a mutated form of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP mice, model of increased amyloid β), a constitutively active form of TGF-β1 (TGF mice, model of cerebrovascular fibrosis) or both (APP/TGF mice) were used. Dilations to the selective TRPV4 channel opener GSK1016790A (GSK) or to ACh were measured in posterior cerebral artery segments.


Both GSK- and ACh-induced dilations virtually disappeared following endothelium denudation in WT mice. These responses were impaired in vessels from APP, TGF and APP/TGF mice compared with WT. Pre-incubation of WT vessels with the selective TRPV4 channel blocker HC-067047, or with small-conductance (SK channel, apamin) and/or intermediate-conductance (IK channel, charybdotoxin, ChTx) Ca2+-sensitive K+ channel blocker abolished GSK-induced dilations and massively decreased those induced by ACh. These treatments had no or limited effects on ACh-induced dilation in vessels from APP, TGF or APP/TGF mice, and IK and SK channel function was preserved in transgenic mice. Antioxidant superoxide dismutase or catalase normalized GSK- and ACh-mediated dilations only in APP brain arteries.


We conclude that endothelial TRPV4 channels mediate ACh-induced dilation in cerebral arteries, that they are impaired in models of cerebrovascular pathology and that they are sensitive, albeit in the reversible manner, to amyloid β-induced oxidative stress.

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