Neuronal Zinc Exchange with the Blood Vessel Wall Promotes Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy in an Animal Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Academic Article


  • Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is common in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may contribute to dementia and cerebral hemorrhage. Parenchymal β-amyloid deposition is dependent on the activity of zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3), a neocortical synaptic vesicle membrane protein that causes enrichment of exchangeable Zn2+ in the vesicle, which is externalized on neurotransmission. However, the contribution of zinc to vascular β-amyloid deposition remains unclear. Here, we identify for the first time an exchangeable pool of Zn2+ in the cerebrovascular wall of normal mice. This histochemically reactive Zn2+ is enriched in CAA in a transgenic mouse model of AD (Tg2576), and a dramatic reduction of CAA occurs after targeted disruption of the Znt3 gene in these mice. Also, in Znt3 knock-out mice, the amount of exchangeable Zn2+ [detected by N-(6-methoxy-8-quinolyl)-p-carboxybenzoylsulphonamide (TFL-Zn) in the perivascular space was significantly decreased in the neocortex but not in peripheral organs. ZnT3 was not detected in the cerebral vessel walls or in blood components of wild-type mice. Thus, synaptic ZnT3 activity may promote CAA by indirectly raising exchangeable Zn2+ concentrations in the perivascular spaces of the brain.
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    Author List

  • Friedlich AL; Lee JY; Van Groen T; Cherny RA; Volitakis I; Cole TB; Palmiter RD; Koh JY; Bush AI
  • Start Page

  • 3453
  • End Page

  • 3459
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 13