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J Clin Invest. 2005 Nov;115(11):3285-90. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

P-glycoprotein deficiency at the blood-brain barrier increases amyloid-beta deposition in an Alzheimer disease mouse model.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Accumulation of amyloid-beta (Abeta) within extracellular spaces of the brain is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD). In sporadic, late-onset AD, there is little evidence for increased Abeta production, suggesting that decreased elimination from the brain may contribute to elevated levels of Abeta and plaque formation. Efflux transport of Abeta across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) contributes to Abeta removal from the brain. P-glycoprotein (Pgp) is highly expressed on the luminal surface of brain capillary endothelial cells and contributes to the BBB. In Pgp-null mice, we show that [I]Abeta40 and [I]Abeta42 microinjected into the CNS clear at half the rate that they do in WT mice. When amyloid precursor protein-transgenic (APP-transgenic) mice were administered a Pgp inhibitor, Abeta levels within the brain interstitial fluid significantly increased within hours of treatment. Furthermore, APP-transgenic, Pgp-null mice had increased levels of brain Abeta and enhanced Abeta deposition compared with APP-transgenic, Pgp WT mice. These data establish a direct link between Pgp and Abeta metabolism in vivo and suggest that Pgp activity at the BBB could affect risk for developing AD as well as provide a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target.

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