Restoring blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein reduces brain amyloid-β in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

Anika M.S. Hartz, David S. Miller, Björn Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

275 Scopus citations


Reduced clearance of amyloid-β (Aβ) from brain partly underlies increased Aβ 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 Aβ from mouse brain capillaries into the vascular space, thus identifying a critical component of the Aβ 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 Aβ accumulates in the brain in AD. It is noteworthy that dosing 12-week-old, asymptomatic hAPP mice over 7 days with pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile to activate the nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor restores P-glycoprotein expression and transport activity in brain capillaries and significantly reduces brain Aβ 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 Aβ clearance from the brain and reduce Aβ brain accumulation. This mechanism suggests a new therapeutic strategy in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-723
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Restoring blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein reduces brain amyloid-β in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this