Enhanced Cerebral Hemodynamics and Cognitive Function Via Knockout of Dual-Specificity Protein Phosphatase 5

Author(s): Huawei Zhang, Jane J. Border, Xing Fang, Yedan Liu, Chengyun Tang, Wenjun Gao, Shaoxun Wang, Seung Min Shin, Ya Guo, Chao Zhang, Ezekiel Gonzalez-Fernandez, Hongwei Yu, Peng Sun, Richard J. Roman, and Fan Fan

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Alzheimer's Disease-Related Dementias (ADRD) are neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies suggest that cerebral hypoperfusion is an early symptom of AD/ADRD. Dual-specificity protein phosphatase 5 (DUSP5) has been implicated in several pathological conditions, including pulmonary hypertension and cancer, but its role in AD/ADRD remains unclear. The present study builds on our previous findings, demonstrating that inhibition of ERK and PKC leads to a dose-dependent dilation of the middle cerebral artery and penetrating arteriole, with a more pronounced effect in Dusp5 KO rats. Both ERK and PKC inhibitors resulted in a significant reduction of myogenic tone in vessels from Dusp5 KO rats. Dusp5 KO rats exhibited stronger autoregulation of the surface but not deep cortical cerebral blood flow. Inhibition of ERK and PKC significantly enhanced the contractile capacity of vascular smooth muscle cells from both strains. Finally, a significant improvement in learning and memory was observed in Dusp5 KO rats 24 hours after initial training. Our results suggest that altered vascular reactivity in Dusp5 KO rats may involve distinct mechanisms for different vascular beds, and DUSP5 deletion could be a potential therapeutic target for AD/ADRD. Further investigations are necessary to determine the effects of DUSP5 inhibition on capillary stalling, blood-brain barrier permeability, and neurodegeneration in aging and disease models.

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