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Depletion of coagulation factor XII ameliorates brain pathology and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer disease mice

Zu-Lin Chen, Alexey S. Revenko, Pradeep Singh, A. Robert MacLeod, Erin H. Norris and Sidney Strickland

Key Points

  • The plasma contact system is activated early in AD mice and temporally correlated with the onset of brain inflammation.

  • Depletion of contact system initiator FXII ameliorates brain pathology and cognitive impairment in AD mice.

Publisher's Note: There is an Inside Blood Commentary on this article in this issue.

Abstract

Vascular abnormalities and inflammation are found in many Alzheimer disease (AD) patients, but whether these changes play a causative role in AD is not clear. The factor XII (FXII) –initiated contact system can trigger both vascular pathology and inflammation and is activated in AD patients and AD mice. We have investigated the role of the contact system in AD pathogenesis. Cleavage of high-molecular-weight kininogen (HK), a marker for activation of the inflammatory arm of the contact system, is increased in a mouse model of AD, and this cleavage is temporally correlated with the onset of brain inflammation. Depletion of FXII in AD mice inhibited HK cleavage in plasma and reduced neuroinflammation, fibrinogen deposition, and neurodegeneration in the brain. Moreover, FXII-depleted AD mice showed better cognitive function than untreated AD mice. These results indicate that FXII-mediated contact system activation contributes to AD pathogenesis, and therefore this system may offer novel targets for AD treatment.

  • Submitted November 21, 2016.
  • Accepted February 21, 2017.
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