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Keywords:

  • Apolipoprotein E;
  • Amyloid β;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • Cerebrovascular sequestration;
  • Blood-brain barrier;
  • Permeability

Abstract: Cerebral capillary sequestration and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability to apolipoproteins E2 (apoE2), E3 (apoE3), and E4 (apoE4) and to their complexes with sAβ1–40, a peptide homologous to the major form of soluble Alzheimer's amyloid β, were studied in perfused guinea pig brain. Cerebrovascular uptake of three apoE isoforms was low, their blood-to-brain transport undetectable, but uptake by the choroid plexus significant. Binding of all three isoforms to sAβ1–40 in vitro was similar with a KD between 11.8 and 12.9 nM. Transport into brain parenchyma and sequestration by BBB and choroid plexus were negligible for sAβ1–40-apoE2 and sAβ1–40-apoE3, but significant for sAβ1–40-apoE4. After 10 min, 85% of sAβ1–40-apoE4 taken up at the BBB remained as intact complex, whereas free sAβ1–40 was 51% degraded. Circulating apoE isoforms have contrasting effects on cerebral capillary uptake of and BBB permeability of sAβ. ApoE2 and apoE3 completely prevent cerebral capillary sequestration and blood-to-brain transport of sAβ1–40. Conversely, apoE4, by entering brain microvessels and parenchyma as a stable complex with sAβ, reduces peptide degradation and may predispose to cerebrovascular and possibly enhance parenchymal amyloid formation under pathological conditions.