[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many tumor types, angiogenesis is the net result of pro- and anti-angiogenic mediators and correlated with metabolic activity, growth, and degree of malignancy. One of the first discovered anti-angiogenic compounds is angiostatin, a proteolytic fragment of plasminogen. The requirements for in vivo angiostatin generation have not yet been determined. We investigated the levels of plasminogen and angiostatin by western blotting and of components of the plasminogen activator complex by ELISA in cyst fluid derived from benign and malignant ovarian tumors. Fluid samples from functional ovarian follicles, dermoid cysts and endometriotic lesions were evaluated separately. When no or minimal amounts of plasminogen were present in the cyst fluids, angiostatin was generally absent as well, irrespective of plasminogen activator concentrations. When plasminogen was present, the degree of conversion of plasminogen to angiostatin was significantly correlated with the level of uPA, and, to a lesser extent, to the tPA level. However, angiostatin was also found in a number of cyst fluid samples with minimal or no plasminogen activators, suggesting the involvement of other angiostatin generating proteases in these samples. Conversely, no angiostatin was observed in a number of cyst fluid samples containing both plasminogen and plasminogen activators. The presence of an inhibitor of the enzymatic activity of uPA and/or tPA, like PAI-1, may explain this finding. Our data show that plasminogen activators are clearly involved in in vivo angiostatin formation in ovarian cysts. Most likely, however, other proteases, as well as inhibitors of plasminogen activators, are involved as well.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · International Journal of Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fibrillization of α-synuclein (α-syn) is a key event in the pathogenesis of α-synucleinopathies. Mutant α-syn (A53T, A30P, or E46K), each linked to familial Parkinson's disease, has altered aggregation properties, fibril morphologies, and fibrillization kinetics. Besides α-syn, Lewy bodies also contain several associated proteins including small heat shock proteins (sHsps). Since α-syn accumulates intracellularly, molecular chaperones like sHsps may regulate α-syn folding and aggregation. Therefore, we investigated if the sHsps αB-crystallin, Hsp27, Hsp20, HspB8, and HspB2B3 bind to α-syn and affect α-syn aggregation. We demonstrate that all sHsps bind to the various α-syns, although the binding kinetics suggests a weak and transient interaction only. Despite this transient interaction, the various sHsps inhibited mature α-syn fibril formation as shown by a Thioflavin T assay and atomic force microscopy. Interestingly, HspB8 was the most potent sHsp in inhibiting mature fibril formation of both wild-type and mutant α-syn. In conclusion, sHsps may regulate α-syn aggregation and, therefore, optimization of the interaction between sHsps and α-syn may be an interesting target for therapeutic intervention in the pathogenesis of α-synucleinopathies.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More than 80% of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients have some degree of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In addition to arteries and veins, capillaries can also be affected. Capillary CAA (capCAA), rather than CAA in larger vessels, is associated with flame-like amyloid-beta (Aβ) deposits that may extend beyond the vessel wall and radiate into the neuropil, a phenomenon also known as "dyshoric angiopathy." Aβ deposits in AD, parenchymal as well as (cap)CAA and dyshoric angiopathy, are associated with a local inflammatory reaction, including activation of microglial cells and astrocytes that, among others, produce cytokines and reactive oxygen species. This neuroinflammatory reaction may account for at least part of the cognitive decline. In previous studies we observed that small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are associated with Aβ deposits in AD. In this study the molecular chaperones Hsp20, HspB8 and HspB2B3 were found to colocalize with CAA and capCAA in AD brains. In addition, Hsp20, HspB8 and HspB2B3 colocalized with intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in capCAA-associated dyshoric angiopathy. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Hsp20, HspB8 and HspB2B3 induced production of interleukin 8, soluble ICAM-1 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 by human leptomeningeal smooth muscle cells and human brain astrocytes in vitro and that Hsp27 inhibited production of transforming growth factor beta 1 and CD40 ligand. Our results suggest a central role for sHsps in the neuroinflammatory reaction in AD and CAA and thus in contributing to cognitive decline.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease is characterized by deposits of the amyloid β protein (Aβ) in the form of senile plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Deposition of Aβ into these pathological lesions is directed by step-wise aggregation of Aβ into oligomers, protofibrils and mature fibrils. Currently, all therapies are purely symptom-relieving, and an actual treatment or prevention of AD is still lacking. Since aggregated forms of Aβ are particularly neurotoxic, interference with the process of Aβ aggregation is a long-envisioned target for therapy. Based on the knowledge that both sulfated (macro)molecules and small synthetic peptides interfere with Aβ aggregation, we developed hybrid ligands to target Aβ fibrillization by a combination of peptide-peptide and sulfate-peptide interactions. A series of peptides, modified at the N-terminus with sulfated linkers, was successfully prepared by solid phase synthesis. The hybrid ligands were tested using a viability assay and an aggregation assay. Molecular modeling was applied to explain the binding of the hybrid ligands to Aβ42. The hybrid ligands that we designed, synthesized and evaluated were found to be non-toxic to cells but displayed negligible inhibition of Aβ fibrillization and Aβ-mediated cytotoxicity compared to the beta-sheet breaker peptides known today. Further molecular modeling simulations suggested that the hybrid ligands were incorporated into the β-sheet structure of Aβ aggregates, indicating that the hybrid ligands may bind to Aβ but are unable to inhibit further aggregation. Optimization of the hybrid ligands by reducing hydrogen bond interactions of the ligand with following Aβproteins might result in ligands, with improved binding to one Aβprotein, that could potentially disrupt further β-sheet formation. This in turn may reduce toxicity of Aβ.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Medicinal Chemistry Communication
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enoxaparin (Enox), a low molecular weight heparin, has been shown to lower brain amyloid beta (A beta) load in a mouse model for Alzheimer's disease. However, the effect of Enox on cognition was not studied. Therefore, we examined the effect of peripheral Enox treatment on cognition and brain A beta levels in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model by giving injections at an early (starting at 5 months of age) and late (starting at 10 and 12 months of age) stage of A beta accumulation for 3 months. Although Enox had no effect on behaviour in the open field at any age, it improved spatial memory in the Morris water maze in 5-, 10- and 12-month-old mice. Furthermore, Enox treatment seemed to decrease guanidine HCl-extracted brain A beta levels at 5 months of age, but significantly increased guanidine HCl-extracted A beta 42 and A beta 40 levels in both 10- and 12-month-old mice. In vitro, Enox increased aggregation of A beta, even when A beta was pre-aggregated. In conclusion, Enox treatment, either at an early or a late stage of A beta accumulation, could improve cognition in APPswe/PS1dE9 mice. However, since Enox treatment at an early stage of A beta accumulation decreased guanidine HCl-extracted A beta levels and Enox treatment at a late stage enhanced guanidine HCl-extracted A beta levels, it seems that Enox influences A beta deposition differently at different stages of A beta pathology. In any case, our study suggests that enoxaparin treatment has potential as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease.
No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Neurobiology of Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by deposition of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide in brain parenchyma and vasculature. Several proteins co-deposit with Aβ, including heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPG). HSPG have been suggested to contribute to Aβ aggregation and deposition, and may influence plaque formation and persistence by stimulating Aβ fibrillization and by protecting Aβ against degradation. Mouse models for AD, expressing the human amyloid precursor protein (APP), produce Aβ deposits similar to humans. These models may be used to study disease pathology and to develop new therapeutic interventions. We aimed to investigate whether co-deposition of HSPG in AD brains can be replicated in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model for AD and if a temporal association of HSPG with Aβ exists.
We studied the co-deposition of several HSPG and of the glycosaminoglycan side chains of HSPG in the APPswe/PS1dE9 model at different ages by immunohistochemistry.
We found that, although APPswe/PS1dE9 mice did develop severe Aβ pathology with age, co-deposition of HS glycosaminoglycan chains and the various HSPG (agrin, perlecan and glypican-1) was scarce (<10-30% of the Aβ deposits were stained).
Our data suggest that the molecular composition of Aβ deposits in the APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse, with respect to the several HSPG investigated in this study, does not accurately reflect the human situation. The near absence of HSPG in Aβ deposits in this transgenic mouse model may, in turn, hinder the translation of preclinical intervention studies from mice to men.
No preview · Article · Oct 2010 · Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), in particular as part of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, are associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Similarly, GAGs are also associated with the severe CAA found in patients suffering from hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D), where the amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide contains the Dutch mutation (DAbeta(1-40)). This suggests a role for GAGs in vascular Abeta aggregation. It was the aim of this study to investigate the effect of different GAGs (heparin, chondroitin sulfate, heparan sulfate), the macromolecule dextran sulfate and, using desulfated heparins, the role of GAG sulfate moieties on the in vitro aggregation of CAA-associated DAbeta(1-40) and on DAbeta(1-40)-induced toxicity of cultured cerebrovascular cells. We also aimed to study the in vivo distribution of various sulfated heparan sulfate GAG epitopes in CAA. Of all GAGs tested, heparin was the strongest inducer of aggregation of DAbeta(1-40) in the different aggregation assays, with both heparin and heparan sulfate reducing Abeta-induced cellular toxicity. Furthermore, (partial) removal of the sulfate moieties of heparin partially abolished the effects of heparin on aggregation and cellular toxicity, suggesting an essential role for the sulfate moieties in heparin. Finally, we demonstrated the in vivo association of sulfated heparan sulfate (HS) GAGs with CAA. We conclude that sulfate moieties within GAGs, like heparin and HS, have an important role in Abeta aggregation in CAA and in Abeta-mediated toxicity of cerebrovascular cells.
No preview · Article · Apr 2010 · Neuroscience Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a common pathological finding in Alzheimer's disease and hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of the Dutch type; in this latter condition it is caused by deposition of mutated amyloid β protein (Aβ Glu22Gln; D-Aβ1–40). Previously, we found a dependence of the Aβ-mediated toxicity and apolipoprotein E (apoE) production by cultured pericytes on apoE genotype. Given their close association with the cerebrovascular wall both astrocytes and pericytes may be involved in CAA development, a process that includes Aβ deposition and clearance and that may be affected by interaction with locally produced apolipoprotein E (apoE). Although astrocytes are regarded as the major source of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in the brain, also pericytes produce apoE. In this study we compared the apoE production capacity, the effects of apoE on D-Aβ1–40 internalization, D-Aβ1–40 cell surface accumulation and the vulnerability for D-Aβ1–40-induced toxicity of either cell type in order to quantify the relative contributions of astrocytes and pericytes in the various processes that contribute to CAA formation. Strikingly, cultured astrocytes produced only 3–10% of the apoE amounts produced by pericytes. Furthermore, pericytes with the apoE ɛ4 allele produced three times less apoE and were more vulnerable to D-Aβ1–40 treatment than pericytes without an ɛ4 allele. Such relations were not observed with astrocytes in vitro. Both pericytes and astrocytes, however, were protected from Aβ-induced cytotoxicity by high levels of pericyte-derived apoE, but not recombinant apoE. In addition, pericyte-derived apoE dose-dependently decreased both internalization of Aβ and Aβ accumulation at the cell surface in either cell type. The present data suggest that apoE produced by pericytes, rather than astrocyte-produced apoE, modulates Aβ cytotoxicity and Aβ removal near the vasculature in the brain. Furthermore, since apoE production in pericytes is genotype dependent, this may contribute to the apoE genotype-dependent development of CAA in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Senile plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients not only consist of the amyloid-β protein (Aβ), but also contain many different Aβ-associated factors, such as heparan sulfate proteoglycans, apolipoproteins, and complement factors. These factors may all influence Aβ deposition, aggregation, and clearance and therefore seem important in the development of human Aβ deposits. To study AD pathology and test new therapeutic agents, many different mouse models have been created. By transgenic expression of the amyloid-β protein precursor, frequently in combination with other transgenes, these animals develop Aβ deposits that morphologically resemble their human counterparts. Whether this resemblance also applies to the presence of Aβ-associated factors is largely unclear. In this review, the co-deposition of factors known to associate with human Aβ deposits is summarized for several different AD mouse models.
No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by pathological lesions such as amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Both these lesions consist mainly of aggregated Abeta protein and this aggregation is affected by macromolecules such as heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans. Previous studies demonstrated that HS enhances fibrillogenesis of Abeta and that this enhancement is dependent on the degree of sulfation of HS. In addition, it has been reported that these sulfation epitopes do not occur randomly but have a defined tissue distribution. Until now, the distribution of sulfation epitopes of HS has not yet been studied in human brain. We investigated whether a specific HS epitope is associated with Abeta plaques by performing immunohistochemistry on occipital neocortical and hippocampal tissue sections from AD patients using five HS epitope-specific phage display antibodies. Antibodies recognizing highly N-sulfated HS demonstrated the highest level of staining in both fibrillar Abeta plaques and non-fibrillar Abeta plaques, whereas antibodies recognizing HS regions with a lower degree of N-sulfate modifications were only immunoreactive with fibrillar Abeta plaques. Thus, our results suggest that a larger variety of HS epitopes is associated with fibrillar Abeta plaques, but the HS epitopes associated with non-fibrillar Abeta plaques seem to be more restricted, selectively consisting of highly N-sulfated epitopes.
No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Acta Neuropathologica
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In cancer patients, occult micrometastases may become apparent shortly after removal of the primary tumor. Animal experiments have shown that metastatic dormancy is maintained by apoptosis, and that primary tumor removal induces a flare-up of angiogenesis, leading to metastatic outgrowth. This phenomenon has led to the hypothesis that the primary tumor generates certain factors that inhibit angiogenesis at distant sites. It is still unknown whether such a phenomenon is operative in human cancer as well. Should it occur, it might have important therapeutic consequences.
Evidence for such a mechanism may be obtained from studies that analyze a series of tissue samples of metastases, taken before or after surgical removal of the primary lesion.
Data from our laboratory on colorectal cancer have shown that, in the absence of the primary tumor, vascular density in the metastases is increased as well as their metabolic activity, as measured by (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). Mitotic activity is increased mildly, while levels of apoptosis are collapsed.
These data indicate that a mechanism of primary-tumor-induced inhibition of angiogenesis exists, maintaining metastatic dormancy. We now suggest that this mechanism may be exploited to avoid the use of exogenous, potentially harmful angiogenesis inhibitors such as bevacizumab in a neoadjuvant setting. Treatment of patients with the primary tumor still in situ could thus be restricted to chemotherapy, since the synergistic effect of an angiogenesis inhibitor would be generated by the primary tumor itself. In the present paper the clinical relevance and possible consequences of our findings and suggestions are discussed.
No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inefficient clearance of A beta, caused by impaired blood-brain barrier crossing into the circulation, seems to be a major cause of A beta accumulation in the brain of late-onset Alzheimer's disease patients and hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis Dutch type. We observed association of receptor for advanced glycation end products, CD36, and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) with cerebral amyloid angiopathy in both Alzheimer's disease and hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis Dutch type brains and increased low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) expression by perivascular cells in cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We investigated if these A beta receptors are involved in A beta internalization and in A beta-mediated cell death of human cerebrovascular cells and astrocytes. Expression of both the LRP-1 and LDLR by human brain pericytes and leptomeningeal smooth muscle cells, but not by astrocytes, increased on incubation with A beta. Receptor-associated protein specifically inhibited A beta-mediated up-regulation of LRP-1, but not of LDLR, and receptor-associated protein also decreased A beta internalization and A beta-mediated cell death. We conclude that especially LRP-1 and, to a minor extent, LDLR are involved in A beta internalization by and A beta-mediated cell death of cerebral perivascular cells. Although perivascular cells may adapt their A beta internalization capacity to the levels of A beta present, saturated LRP-1/LDLR-mediated uptake of A beta results in degeneration of perivascular cells.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · American Journal Of Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How and why tumors metastasize is still a matter of debate. The assumption is that mutations render tumor cells with a metastatic phenotype, enabling entrance in and transport through lymph or blood vessels. Distant outgrowth is thought to occur only in a suitable microenvironment (the seed and soil hypothesis). However, the anatomical location of most metastases in cancer patients suggests entrapment of tumor cells in the first microcapillary bed that is encountered. We here investigated how vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) attributes to the metastatic process. We describe here that VEGF-A enhances spontaneous metastasis by inducing intravasation of heterogeneous tumor cell clusters, surrounded by vessel wall elements, via an invasion-independent mechanism. These tumor clusters generate metastatic tissue embolisms in pulmonary arteries. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with the antiangiogenic compound ZD6474 prevented the development of this metastatic phenotype. This work shows that tumors with high constitutive VEGF-A expression metastasize via the formation of tumor emboli and provides an alternative rationale for anti-VEGF-A therapy, namely to inhibit metastasis formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D), severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is associated with an inflammatory reaction. Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are molecular chaperones and association of HspB8 with CAA in HCHWA-D has been observed. The aims of this study were to investigate (1) if other sHsps are associated with the pathological lesions in HCHWA-D brains, (2) if the amyloid-beta protein (A beta) increases production of sHsps in cultured cerebral cells and (3) if sHsps are involved in the cerebral inflammatory processes in both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and HCHWA-D. We conclude that Hsp20, HspB8 and HspB2 are present in CAA in HCHWA-D, and that A beta did not affect cellular sHsps expression in cultured human brain pericytes and astrocytes. In addition, we demonstrated that Hsp20, HspB2 and HspB8 induced interleukin-6 production in cultured pericytes and astrocytes, which could be antagonized by dexamethasone, whereas other sHsps and A beta were inactive, suggesting that sHsps may be among the key mediators of the local inflammatory response associated with HCHWA-D and AD lesions.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2007 · Neurobiology of aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathologic lesions of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by accumulation of protein aggregates consisting of intracellular or extracellular misfolded proteins. The amyloid-beta (Abeta) protein accumulates extracellularly in senile plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, whereas the hyperphosphorylated tau protein accumulates intracellularly as neurofibrillary tangles. "Professional chaperones", such as the heat shock protein family, have a function in the prevention of protein misfolding and subsequent aggregation. "Amateur" chaperones, such as apolipoproteins and heparan sulfate proteoglycans, bind amyloidogenic proteins and may affect their aggregation process. Professional and amateur chaperones not only colocalize with the pathological lesions of AD, but may also be involved in conformational changes of Abeta, and in the clearance of Abeta from the brain via phagocytosis or active transport across the blood-brain barrier. Thus, both professional and amateur chaperones may be involved in the aggregation, accumulation, persistence, and clearance of Abeta and tau and in other Abeta-associated reactions such as inflammation associated with AD lesions, and may, therefore, serve as potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumors arise initially as avascular masses in which central hypoxia induces expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and subsequently tumor vascularization. However, VEGF-A can also be constitutively expressed as a result of genetic events. VEGF-A is alternatively spliced to yield at least 6 different isoforms. Of these, VEGF-A(121) is freely diffusible whereas basically charged domains in the larger isoforms confer affinity for cell surface or extracellular matrix components. We previously reported that in a mouse brain metastasis model of human melanoma, VEGF-A(121) induced a qualitatively different tumor vascular phenotype than VEGF-A(165) and VEGF-A(189): in contrast to the latter ones, and VEGF-A(121) did not induce a neovascular bed but rather led to leakage and dilatation of preexistent brain vessels. Here, we correlate vascular phenotypes with spatial VEGF-A expression profiles in clinical brain tumors (low grade gliomas; n = 6, melanoma metastases; n = 4, adenocarcinoma metastases; n = 4, glioblastoma multiforme; n = 3, sarcoma metastasis; n = 1, renal cell carcinoma metastasis; n = 1). We show that tumors that constitutively express VEGF-A present with different vascular beds than tumors in which VEGF-A is expressed as a response to central hypoxia. This phenotypic difference is consistent with a model where in tumors with constitutive VEGF-A expression, all isoforms exert their effects on vasculature, resulting in a classical angiogenic phenotype. In tumors where only central parts express hypoxia-induced VEGF-A, the larger angiogenic isoforms are retained by extracellular matrix, leaving only freely diffusible VEGF-A(121) to exert its dilatation effects on distant vessels.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2006 · International Journal of Cancer