Impaired clearance of amyloid-β (Aβ) is a major pathogenic event for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Aβ depositions in brain parenchyma as senile plaques and along cerebrovasculature as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) are hallmarks of AD. A major pathway that mediates brain Aβ clearance is the cerebrovascular system where Aβ is eliminated through the blood- brain barrier (BBB) and/or degraded by cerebrovascular cells along the interstitial fluid drainage pathway. An Aβ clearance receptor, the low-density lipoprotein receptorrelated protein 1 (LRP1), is abundantly expressed in cerebrovasculature, in particular in vascular smooth muscle cells. Previous studies have indicated a role of LRP1 in endothelial cells in transcytosing Aβ out of the brain across the BBB; however, whether this represents a significant pathway for brain Aβ clearance remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that Aβ can be cleared locally in the cerebrovasculature by an LRP1-dependent endocytic pathway in smooth muscle cells. The uptake and degradation of both endogenous and exogenousAβ were significantly reduced in LRP1-suppressed human brain vascular smooth muscle cells. Conditional deletion of Lrp1 in vascular smooth muscle cell in amyloid model APP/PS1 mice accelerated brain Aβ accumulation and exacerbated Aβ deposition as amyloid plaques and CAA without affecting Aβ production. Our results demonstrate that LRP1 is a major Aβ clearance receptor in cerebral vascular smooth muscle cell and a disturbance of this pathway contributes toAβ accumulation. These studies establish critical functions of the cerebrovasculature system in Aβ metabolism and identify a new pathway involved in the pathogenesis of both AD and CAA.
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