Defective hippocampal neurogenesis underlies cognitive impairment by carotid stenosis-induced cerebral hypoperfusion in mice

Fraga E, Medina V, Cuartero MI et al. Front Cell Neurosci. 2023 Aug 11;17:1219847. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2023.1219847. eCollection 2023. PMID: 37636586

Abstract: Chronic cerebral hypoperfusion due to carotid artery stenosis is a major cause of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID). Bilateral carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) in rodents is a well-established model of VCID where most studies have focused on white matter pathology and subsequent cognitive deficit. Therefore, our aim was to study the implication of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in hypoperfusion-induced VCID in mice, and its relationship with cognitive hippocampal deficits. Mice were subjected to BCAS; 1 and 3 months later, hippocampal memory and neurogenesis/cell death were assessed, respectively, by the novel object location (NOL) and spontaneous alternation performance (SAP) tests and by immunohistology. Hypoperfusion was assessed by arterial spin labeling-magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-MRI). Hypoperfused mice displayed spatial memory deficits with decreased NOL recognition index. Along with the cognitive deficit, a reduced number of newborn neurons and their aberrant morphology indicated a remarkable impairment of the hippocampal neurogenesis. Both increased cell death in the subgranular zone (SGZ) and reduced neuroblast proliferation rate may account for newborn neurons number reduction. Our data demonstrate quantitative and qualitative impairment of adult hippocampal neurogenesis disturbances associated with cerebral hypoperfusion-cognitive deficits in mice. These findings pave the way for novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for VCID. 

Funding: This work was supported by grants from Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCIN) PID2019-106581RB-I00 (MM), from Leducq Foundation for Cardiovascular ResearchbTNE-19CVD01 (MM) and TNE-21CVD04 (MM and IL), and from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) and co-financed by the European Development Regional Fund “A Way to Achieve Europe” PI20/00535 and RICORS-ICTUS RD21/0006/0001 (IL). CNIC was supported by ISCIII, MCIN, and ProCNIC Foundation, and is a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence
(CEX2020-001041-S). The microscopy experiments were performed in Unidad de Microscopía e Imagen Dinámica, CNIC, ICTS-ReDib, co-funded by MCIN/AEI/10.13039/501100011033 and FEDER “Una manera de hacer Europa” (#ICTS-2018- 04-CNIC-16). Part of the research work included in this publication has been carried out in the ReDIB ICTS infrastructure BioImaC, MCIN.