Compromised Cortical-Hippocampal Network Function From Transient Hypertension: Linking Mid-Life Hypertension to Late Life Dementia Risk

Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol. 16 (2022)

Mots clés
Auteurs
  • Aaron Y. Lai
  • Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Paolo Bazzigaluppi
  • Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Christopher D. Morrone
  • Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Mary E. Hill
  • Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Bojana Stefanovic
  • Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Bojana Stefanovic
  • Physical Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • JoAnne McLaurin
  • Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • JoAnne McLaurin
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Résumé

Mid-life hypertension is a major risk factor for developing dementia later in life. While anti-hypertensive drugs restore normotension, dementia risk remains above baseline suggesting that brain damage sustained during transient hypertension is irreversible. The current study characterized a rat model of transient hypertension with an extended period of normotensive recovery: F344 rats were treated with L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME) for 1 month to induce hypertension then allowed up to 4 months of recovery. With respect to cognitive deficits, comparison between 1 month and 4 months of recovery identified initial deficits in spatial memory that resolved by 4 months post-hypertension; contrastingly, loss of cognitive flexibility did not. The specific cells and brain regions underlying these cognitive deficits were investigated. Irreversible structural damage to the brain was observed in both the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, with decreased blood vessel density, myelin and neuronal loss. We then measured theta-gamma phase amplitude coupling as a readout for network function, a potential link between the observed cognitive and pathological deficits. Four months after hypertension, we detected decreased theta-gamma phase amplitude coupling within each brain region and a concurrent increase in baseline connectivity between the two regions reflecting an attempt to maintain function that may account for the improvement in spatial memory. Our results demonstrate that connectivity between prefrontal cortex and hippocampus is a vulnerable network affected by transient hypertension which is not rescued over time; thus demonstrating for the first time a mechanistic link between the long-term effects of transient hypertension and dementia risk.

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