Dietary plant sterols accumulate in the brain

PJ Jansen*, D Lutjohann, K Abildayeva, T Vanmierlo, T Plosch, J Plat, K von Bergmann, AK Groen, FCS Ramaekers, F Kuipers, M Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dietary plant sterols and cholesterol have a comparable chemical structure. It is generally assumed that cholesterol and plant sterols do not cross the blood-brain barrier, but quantitative data are lacking. Here, we report that mice deficient for ATP-binding cassette transporter G5 (Abcg5) or Abcg8, with strongly elevated serum plant sterol levels, display dramatically increased (7- to 16-fold) plant sterol levels in the brain. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE)-deficient mice also displayed elevated serum plant sterol levels, which was however not associated with significant changes in brain plant sterol levels. Abcg5- and Abeg8-deficient mice were found to carry circulating plant sterols predominantly in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-particles, whereas ApoE-deficient mice accommodated most of their serum plant sterols in very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-particles. This suggests an important role for HDL and/or ApoE in the transfer of plant sterols into the brain. Moreover, sitosterol upregulated apoE mRNA and protein levels in astrocytoma, but not in neuroblastoma cells, to a higher extend than cholesterol. In conclusion, dietary plant sterols pass the blood-brain barrier and accumulate in the brain, where they may exert brain cell type-specific effects. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et biophysica acta-Molecular and cell biology of lipids
Volume1761
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2006

Keywords

  • cholesterol
  • plant sterol
  • campesterol
  • sitosterol
  • apolipoprotein E
  • ABCG5
  • ABCG8
  • LIVER-X-RECEPTOR
  • IN-VITRO
  • CHOLESTEROL TRANSPORTER
  • BETA-SITOSTEROL
  • DEFICIENT MICE
  • CACO-2 CELLS
  • FATTY-ACIDS
  • ACTIVATION
  • BARRIER
  • ABCA1

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