Impaired brain clearance of amyloid-beta peptides (Aβ) 40 and 42 across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) is believed to be one of the pathways responsible for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. Hyperinsulinemia prevalent in type II diabetes was shown to damage cerebral vasculature and increase Aβ accumulation in AD brain. However, there is no clarity on how aberrations in peripheral insulin levels affect Aβ accumulation in the brain. This study describes, for the first time, an intricate relation between plasma insulin and Aβ transport at the BBB. Upon peripheral insulin administration in wild-type mice: the plasma clearance of Aβ40 increased, but Aβ42 clearance reduced; the plasma-to-brain influx of Aβ40 increased, and that of Aβ42 reduced; and the clearance of intracerebrally injected Aβ40 decreased, whereas Aβ42 clearance increased. In hCMEC/D3 monolayers (in vitro BBB model) exposed to insulin, the luminal uptake and luminal-to-abluminal permeability of Aβ40 increased and that of Aβ42 reduced; the abluminal-to-luminal permeability of Aβ40 decreased, whereas Aβ42 permeability increased. Moreover, Aβ cellular trafficking machinery was altered. In summary, Aβ40 and Aβ42 demonstrated distinct distribution kinetics in plasma and brain compartments, and insulin differentially modulated their distribution. Cerebrovascular disease and metabolic disorders may disrupt this intricate homeostasis and aggravate AD pathology.
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.
- Alzheimer's disease
- blood–brain barrier
- cerebrovascular disease