Restoring Blood-Brain Barrier P-Glycoprotein Reduces Brain Amyloid-beta in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, MN 55812, USA.
Molecular pharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.12). 05/2010; 77(5):715-23. DOI: 10.1124/mol.109.061754
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reduced clearance of amyloid-beta (Abeta) from brain partly underlies increased Abeta brain accumulation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The mechanistic basis for this pathology is unknown, but recent evidence suggests a neurovascular component in AD etiology. We show here that the ATP-driven pump, P-glycoprotein, specifically mediates efflux transport of Abeta from mouse brain capillaries into the vascular space, thus identifying a critical component of the Abeta brain efflux mechanism. We demonstrate in a transgenic mouse model of AD [human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP)-overexpressing mice; Tg2576 strain] that brain capillary P-glycoprotein expression and transport activity are substantially reduced compared with wild-type control mice, suggesting a mechanism by which Abeta accumulates in the brain in AD. It is noteworthy that dosing 12-week-old, asymptomatic hAPP mice over 7 days with pregnenolone-16alpha-carbonitrile to activate the nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor restores P-glycoprotein expression and transport activity in brain capillaries and significantly reduces brain Abeta levels compared with untreated control mice. Thus, targeting intracellular signals that up-regulate blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein in the early stages of AD has the potential to increase Abeta clearance from the brain and reduce Abeta brain accumulation. This mechanism suggests a new therapeutic strategy in AD.


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