Aging is a major risk factor for common neurodegenerative diseases. Although multiple molecular, cellular, structural, and functional changes occur in the brain during aging, the involvement of caveolin-2 (Cav-2) in brain ageing remains unknown. We investigated Cav-2 expression in brains of aged mice and its effects on endothelial cells. The human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) showed decreased THP-1 adhesion and infiltration when treated with Cav-2 siRNA compared to control siRNA. In contrast, Cav-2 overexpression increased THP-1 adhesion and infiltration in HUVECs. Increased expression of Cav-2 and iba-1 was observed in brains of old mice. Moreover, there were fewer iba-1–positive cells in the brains of aged Cav-2 knockout (KO) mice than of wild-type aged mice. The levels of several chemokines were higher in brains of aged wild-type mice than in young wild-type mice; moreover, chemokine levels were significantly lower in brains of young mice as well as aged Cav-2 KO mice than in their wild-type counterparts. Expression of PECAM1 and VE-cadherin proteins increased in brains of old wild-type mice but was barely detected in brains of young wild-type and Cav-2 KO mice. Collectively, our results suggest that Cav-2 expression increases in the endothelial cells of aged brain, and promotes leukocyte infiltration and age-associated neuroinflammation.
- cav2 mouse
- endothelial cell