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This article, first published by Frontiers Media, is the author's final published version in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in Volume 15, 2023, Article number 1272361.

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Copyright © 2023 Wang, Zhang and Hongpaisan.


BACKGROUND: Current evidence suggests that microvessel disease is involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cerebrovascular disease correlates with cardiovascular disease and is complicated in ≈40% of AD patients. The protein kinase C (PKC) ε activator DCPLA can stimulate human antigen (Hu) R that prevents degradation and promotes the translation of mitochondrial Mn-superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF) mRNAs.

METHODS: To induce brain microinfarcts, we injected triple transgenic (3×Tg) and wild-type (WT) control mice with microbeads (20 μm caliber) into common carotid arteries, with or without the DCPLA-ME (methyl-ester) for 2 weeks. After water maze training, mice at 16 months old were examined for confocal immunohistochemistry at a single cell or microvessel level in the hippocampal CA1 area, important for spatial memory storage, and in the dorsal hippocampus by western blots.

RESULTS: In 3×Tg mice without cerebral microinfarcts, an accelerating age-related increase in (mild) oxidative stress and hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, but a reduction in VEGF, mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM), and MnSOD were associated with capillary loss. The change was less pronounced in arterioles. However, in 3×Tg mice with cerebral microinfarcts, increasing arteriolar diameter and their wall cells were related with the strong oxidative DNA damage 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), apoptosis (cleaved caspase 3), and sustained hypoxia (increased HIF-1α and VEGF/PKCε/extracellular signal regulated kinase or ERK pathway). Microocclusion enhanced the loss of the synaptic marker spinophilin, astrocytic number, and astrocyte-vascular coupling areas and demyelination of axons. DCPLA-ME prevented spatial memory defect; strong oxidative stress-related apoptosis; sustained hypoxia (by reducing HIF-1α and VEGF); and exaggerated cell repair in arteriolar walls, pericapillary space dilation, neuro-glial-vascular disruption, and demyelination.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, in 3×Tg mice with cerebral microinfarcts, sustained hypoxia (increased HIF-1α and VEGF signals) is dominant with arteriolar wall thickening, and DCPLA has a protective effect on sustained hypoxia.

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