Differential effects of dietary fatty acids on the cerebral distribution of plasma-derived apo B lipoproteins with amyloid-beta

Br J Nutr. 2010 Mar;103(5):652-62. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992194. Epub 2009 Oct 28.


Some dietary fats are a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) but the mechanisms for this association are presently unknown. In the present study we showed in wild-type mice that chronic ingestion of SFA results in blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction and significant delivery into the brain of plasma proteins, including apo B lipoproteins that are endogenously enriched in amyloid-beta (Abeta). Conversely, the plasma concentration of S100B was used as a marker of brain-to-blood leakage and was found to be increased two-fold because of SFA feeding. Consistent with a deterioration in BBB integrity in SFA-fed mice was a diminished cerebrovascular expression of occludin, an endothelial tight junction protein. In contrast to SFA-fed mice, chronic ingestion of MUFA or PUFA had no detrimental effect on BBB integrity. Utilising highly sensitive three-dimensional immunomicroscopy, we also showed that the cerebral distribution and co-localisation of Abeta with apo B lipoproteins in SFA-fed mice are similar to those found in amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) amyloid transgenic mice, an established murine model of AD. Moreover, there was a strong positive association of plasma-derived apo B lipoproteins with cerebral Abeta deposits. Collectively, the findings of the present study provide a plausible explanation of how dietary fats may influence AD risk. Ingestion of SFA could enhance peripheral delivery to the brain of circulating lipoprotein-Abeta and exacerbate the amyloidogenic cascade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / blood
  • Apolipoprotein B-100 / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Female
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Occludin
  • Presenilin-1
  • Risk Factors
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Apolipoprotein B-100
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Occludin
  • Ocln protein, mouse
  • Presenilin-1