The Alzheimer's disease risk factor CD2AP maintains blood-brain barrier integrity

Academic Article


  • CD2-associated protein (CD2AP) is a leading genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, but little is known about the function of CD2AP in the brain. We studied CD2AP(-/-) mice to address this question. Because CD2AP(-/-) mice normally die by 6 weeks from nephrotic syndrome, we used mice that also express a CD2AP transgene in the kidney, but not brain, to attenuate this phenotype. CD2AP-deficient mice had no behavioral abnormalities except for mild motor and anxiety deficits in a subset of CD2AP(-/-) mice exhibiting severe nephrotic syndrome, associated with systemic illness. Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizures occurred with shorter latency in CD2AP(-/-) mice, but characteristics of these seizures on electroencephalography were not altered. As CD2AP is expressed in brain-adjacent endothelial cells, we hypothesized that the shorter latency to seizures without detectably different seizure characteristics may be due to increased penetration of PTZ related to compromised blood-brain barrier integrity. Using sodium fluorescein extravasation, we found that CD2AP(-/-) mice had reduced blood-brain barrier integrity. Neither seizure severity nor blood-brain barrier integrity was correlated with nephrotic syndrome, indicating that these effects are dissociable from the systemic illness associated with CD2AP deficiency. Confirming this dissociation, wild-type mice with induced nephrotic syndrome maintained an intact blood-brain barrier. Taken together, our results support a role of CD2AP in mediating blood-brain barrier integrity and suggest that cerebrovascular roles of CD2AP could contribute to its effects on Alzheimer's disease risk.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cochran JN; Rush T; Buckingham SC; Roberson ED
  • Start Page

  • 6667
  • End Page

  • 6674
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 23