Testing the neurovascular hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease: LRP-1 antisense reduces blood-brain barrier clearance, increases brain levels of amyloid-beta protein, and impairs cognition.J Alzheimers Dis. 2009; 17(3):553-70.JA
Decreased clearance is the main reason amyloid-beta protein (Abeta) is increased in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The neurovascular hypothesis states that this decreased clearance is caused by impairment of low density lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP-1), the major brain-to-blood transporter of Abeta at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). As deletion of the LRP-1 gene is a lethal mutation, we tested the neurovascular hypothesis by developing a cocktail of phosphorothioate antisenses directed against LRP-1 mRNA. We found these antisenses in comparison to random antisense selectively decreased LRP-1 expression, reduced BBB clearance of Abeta42, increased brain levels of Abeta42, and impaired learning ability and recognition memory in mice. These results support dysfunction of LRP-1 at the BBB as a mechanism by which brain levels of Abeta could increase and AD would be promoted.