The role of smooth muscle cell metabolism of amyloid beta in cerebral amyloid angiopathy
The research goal is to understand how the harmful protein, amyloid beta, deposits in blood vessels of the brain, leading to dementia.
A key change in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is the accumulation of amyloid beta in arteries, in regions normally occupied by smooth muscle cells, the main cell type in arteries.
We will examine why smooth muscle cells have difficulty breaking down this protein compared to other brain cells, microglial cells. We will do these studies using smooth muscle and microglial cells in dishes and using sections of brain tissue donated from autopsies of patients who did or did not have dementia. By understanding why smooth muscle cells fail to degrade this harmful protein it is hoped that this can be prevented to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
This project was funded in 2019.