Perlecan is a heparan sulfate proteoglycan protein in the extracellular matrix that structurally and biochemically supports the cerebrovasculature by dynamically responding to changes in cerebral blood flow. These changes in perlecan expression seem to be contradictory, ranging from neuroprotective and angiogenic to thrombotic and linked to lipid retention. This review investigates perlecan's influence on risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, and amyloid that effect Vascular contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (VCID). VCID, a comorbidity with diverse etiology in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD), is thought to be a major factor that drives the overall clinical burden of dementia. Accordingly, changes in perlecan expression and distribution in response to VCID appears to be injury, risk factor, location, sex, age, and perlecan domain dependent. While great effort has been made to understand the role of perlecan in VCID, additional studies are needed to increase our understanding of perlecan's role in health and in cerebrovascular disease.

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Published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, v. 21, issue 2, 679.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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NIH R01NS089515 to G.J.B.