Amyloid-β Peptide on Sialyl-LewisX-Selectin-Mediated Membrane Tether Mechanics at the Cerebral Endothelial Cell Surface

Sholpan Askarova, Zhe Sun, Grace Y. Sun, Gerald A. Meininger, James C.M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Increased deposition of amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) at the cerebral endothelial cell (CEC) surface has been implicated in enhancement of transmigration of monocytes across the brain blood barrier (BBB) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, quantitative immunofluorescence microscopy (QIM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) with cantilevers biofunctionalized by sialyl-Lewisx (sLex) were employed to investigate Aβ-altered mechanics of membrane tethers formed by bonding between sLex and p-selectin at the CEC surface, the initial mechanical step governing the transmigration of monocytes. QIM results indicated the ability for Aβ to increase p-selectin expression at the cell surface and promote actin polymerization in both bEND3 cells (immortalized mouse CECs) and human primary CECs. AFM data also showed the ability for Aβ to increase cell stiffness and adhesion probability in bEND3 cells. On the contrary, Aβ lowered the overall force of membrane tether formation (Fmtf), and produced a bimodal population of Fmtf, suggesting subcellular mechanical alterations in membrane tethering. The lower Fmtf population was similar to the results obtained from cells treated with an F-actin-disrupting drug, latrunculin A. Indeed, AFM results also showed that both Aβ and latrunculin A decreased membrane stiffness, suggesting a lower membrane-cytoskeleton adhesion, a factor resulting in lower Fmtf. In addition, these cerebral endothelial alterations induced by Aβ were abrogated by lovastatin, consistent with its anti-inflammatory effects. In sum, these results demonstrated the ability for Aβ to enhance p-selectin expression at the CEC surface and induce cytoskeleton reorganization, which in turn, resulted in changes in membrane-cytoskeleton adhesion and membrane tethering, mechanical factors important in transmigration of monocytes through the BBB.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60972
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 12 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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