Prefrontal white matter pathology in air pollution exposed Mexico City young urbanites and their potential impact on neurovascular unit dysfunction and the development of Alzheimer's disease

Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Rafael Reynoso-Robles, Javier Vargas- Martínez, Aline Gómez-Maqueo-Chew, Beatriz Pérez-Guillé, Partha S. Mukherjee, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, George Perry, Angélica Gónzalez-Maciel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Millions of urban children are chronically exposed to high concentrations of air pollutants, i.e., fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone, associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Compared with children living with clear air those in Mexico City (MC) exhibit systemic, brain and intrathecal inflammation, low CSF Aβ42, breakdown of the BBB, attention and short-term memory deficits, prefrontal white matter hyperintensities, damage to epithelial and endothelial barriers, tight junction and neural autoantibodies, and Alzheimer and Parkinson's hallmarks. The prefrontal white matter is a target of air pollution. We examined by light and electron microscopy the prefrontal white matter of MC dogs (n: 15, age 3.17±0.74 years), children and teens (n: 34, age: 12.64±4.2 years) versus controls. Major findings in MC residents included leaking capillaries and small arterioles with extravascular lipids and erythrocytes, lipofuscin in pericytes, smooth muscle and endothelial cells (EC), thickening of cerebrovascular basement membranes with small deposits of amyloid, patchy absence of the perivascular glial sheet, enlarged Virchow-Robin spaces and nanosize particles (20-48nm) in EC, basement membranes, axons and dendrites. Tight junctions, a key component of the neurovascular unit (NVU) were abnormal in MC versus control dogs (χ2<0.0001), and white matter perivascular damage was significantly worse in MC dogs (p=0.002). The integrity of the NVU, an interactive network of vascular, glial and neuronal cells is compromised in MC young residents. Characterizing the early NVU damage and identifying biomarkers of neurovascular dysfunction may provide a fresh insight into Alzheimer pathogenesis and open opportunities for pediatric neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-417
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume146
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Alzheimer
  • BBB
  • Children
  • Dogs
  • Endothelial damage
  • Nanosize particles
  • Neurovascular unit
  • PM
  • Tight junctions

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