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J Biol Chem. 2008 Dec 12;283(50):34554-62. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M801487200. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 mediates uptake of amyloid beta peptides in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier cells.

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  • 1Department of Neuropathology and Neuroscience, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.

Abstract

The metabolism of amyloid beta peptide (A beta) in the brain is crucial to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. A body of evidence suggests that A beta is actively transported from brain parenchyma to blood across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), although the precise mechanism remains unclear. To unravel the cellular and molecular mechanism of A beta transport across the BBB, we established a new in vitro model of the initial internalization step of A beta transport using TR-BBB cells, a conditionally immortalized endothelial cell line from rat brain. We show that TR-BBB cells rapidly internalize A beta through a receptor-mediated mechanism. We also provide evidence that A beta internalization is mediated by LRP1 (low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1), since administration of LRP1 antagonist, receptor-associated protein, neutralizing antibody, or small interference RNAs all reduced A beta uptake. Despite the requirement of LRP1-dependent internalization, A beta does not directly bind to LRP1 in an in vitro binding assay. Unlike TR-BBB cells, mouse embryonic fibroblasts endogenously expressing functional LRP1 and exhibiting the authentic LRP1-mediated endocytosis (e.g. of tissue plasminogen activator) did not show rapid A beta uptake. Based on these data, we propose that the rapid LRP1-dependent internalization of A beta occurs under the BBB-specific cellular context and that TR-BBB is a useful tool for analyzing the molecular mechanism of the rapid transport of A beta across BBB.

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