[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ATP-binding cassette transport protein P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) is involved in the export of beta-amyloid from the brain into the blood, and there is evidence that age-associated deficits in cerebral P-glycoprotein content may be involved in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. P-glycoprotein function and expression can be pharmacologically induced by a variety of compounds including extracts of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort). To clarify the effect of St. John's Wort on the accumulation of beta-amyloid and P-glycoprotein expression in the brain, St. John's Wort extract (final hyperforin concentration 5%) was fed to 30 day-old male C57BL/6J-APP/PS1+/- mice over a period of 60 or 120 days, respectively. Age-matched male C57BL/6J-APP/PS1+/- mice receiving a St. John's Wort-free diet served as controls. Mice receiving St. John's Wort extract showed (i) significant reductions of parenchymal beta-amyloid 1-40 and 1-42 accumulation, and (ii) moderate but statistically significant increases in cerebrovascular P-glycoprotein expression. Thus, the induction of cerebrovascular P-glycoprotein may be a novel therapeutic strategy to protect the brain from beta-amyloid accumulation, and thereby impede the progression of Alzheimer's disease.