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