Active immunization with the amyloid beta (A beta) peptide has been shown to decrease brain A beta deposition in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and certain peripherally administered anti-A beta antibodies were shown to mimic this effect. In exploring factors that alter A beta metabolism and clearance, we found that a monoclonal antibody (m266) directed against the central domain of A beta was able to bind and completely sequester plasma A beta. Peripheral administration of m266 to PDAPP transgenic mice, in which A beta is generated specifically within the central nervous system (CNS), results in a rapid 1,000-fold increase in plasma A beta, due, in part, to a change in A beta equilibrium between the CNS and plasma. Although peripheral administration of m266 to PDAPP mice markedly reduces A beta deposition, m266 did not bind to A beta deposits in the brain. Thus, m266 appears to reduce brain A beta burden by altering CNS and plasma A beta clearance.