ABCG2 is upregulated in Alzheimer's brain with cerebral amyloid angiopathy and may act as a gatekeeper at the blood-brain barrier for Abeta(1-40) peptides.J Neurosci. 2009 Apr 29; 29(17):5463-75.JN
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by accumulation and deposition of Abeta peptides in the brain. Abeta deposition in cerebrovessels occurs in many AD patients and results in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (AD/CAA). Since Abeta can be transported across blood-brain barrier (BBB), aberrant Abeta trafficking across BBB may contribute to Abeta accumulation in the brain and CAA development. Expression analyses of 273 BBB-related genes performed in this study showed that the drug transporter, ABCG2, was significantly upregulated in the brains of AD/CAA compared with age-matched controls. Increased ABCG2 expression was confirmed by Q-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Abcg2 was also increased in mouse AD models, Tg-SwDI and 3XTg. Abeta alone or in combination with hypoxia/ischemia failed to stimulate ABCG2 expression in BBB endothelial cells; however, conditioned media from Abeta-activated microglia strongly induced ABCG2 expression. ABCG2 protein in AD/CAA brains interacted and coimmunoprecipitated with Abeta. Overexpression of hABCG2 reduced drug uptake in cells; however, interaction of Abeta(1-40) with ABCG2 impaired ABCG2-mediated drug efflux. The role of Abcg2 in Abeta transport at the BBB was investigated in Abcg2-null and wild-type mice after intravenous injection of Cy5.5-labeled Abeta(1-40) or scrambled Abeta(40-1). Optical imaging analyses of live animals and their brains showed that Abcg2-null mice accumulated significantly more Abeta in their brains than wild-type mice. The finding was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. These results suggest that ABCG2 may act as a gatekeeper at the BBB to prevent blood Abeta from entering into brain. ABCG2 upregulation may serve as a biomarker of CAA vascular pathology in AD patients.