Astrocyte- and Neuron-Derived Extracellular Vesicles from Alzheimer's Disease Patients Effect Complement-Mediated Neurotoxicity

Carlos J. Nogueras-Ortiz, Vasiliki Mahairaki, Francheska Delgado-Peraza, Debamitra Das, Konstantinos Avgerinos, Erden Eren, Matthew Hentschel, Edward J. Goetzl, Mark P. Mattson, Dimitrios Kapogiannis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that blood astrocytic-origin extracellular vesicles (AEVs) from Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients contain high complement levels. To test the hypothesis that circulating EVs from AD patients can induce complement-mediated neurotoxicity involving Membrane Attack Complex (MAC) formation, we assessed the effects of immunocaptured AEVs (using anti-GLAST antibody), in comparison with neuronal-origin (N)EVs (using anti-L1CAM antibody), and nonspecific CD81+ EVs (using anti-CD81 antibody), from the plasma of AD, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and control participants. AEVs (and, less effectively, NEVs) of AD participants induced Membrane Attack Complex (MAC) expression on recipient neurons (by immunohistochemistry), membrane disruption (by EthD-1 assay), reduced neurite density (by Tuj-1 immunohistochemistry), and decreased cell viability (by MTT assay) in rat cortical neurons and human iPSC-derived neurons. Demonstration of decreased cell viability was replicated in a separate cohort of autopsy-confirmed AD patients. These effects were not produced by CD81+ EVs from AD participants or AEVs/NEVs from FTLD or control participants, and were suppressed by the MAC inhibitor CD59 and other complement inhibitors. Our results support the stated hypothesis and should motivate future studies on the roles of neuronal MAC deposition and AEV/NEV uptake, as effectors of neurodegeneration in AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1614
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 4 2020


  • astrocytes
  • complement
  • exosomes
  • membrane attack complex
  • neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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