Oleocanthal, a phenolic component of extravirgin olive oil, has been recently linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disease that is
characterized by accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) and tau proteins in the brain. However, the mechanism by which oleocanthal exerts its neuroprotective effect is still incompletely
understood. Here, we provide in vitro and in vivo evidence for the potential of oleocanthal to enhance Aβ clearance from the brain via up-regulation of P-glycoprotein
(P-gp) and LDL lipoprotein receptor related protein-1 (LRP1), major Aβ transport proteins, at the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Results from in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated similar and consistent pattern of oleocanthal in controlling Aβ levels. In cultured mice brain endothelial cells, oleocanthal treatment increased P-gp and LRP1 expression and activity. Brain
efflux index (BEI%) studies of 125I-Aβ40 showed that administration of oleocanthal extracted from extra-virgin olive oil to C57BL/6 wild-type mice enhanced 125I-Aβ40 clearance from the brain and increased the BEI% from 62.0 ± 3.0% for control mice to 79.9 ± 1.6% for oleocanthal treated mice. Increased P-gp and LRP1 expression in the brain microvessels and inhibition studies
confirmed the role of up-regulation of these proteins in enhancing 125I-Aβ40 clearance after oleocanthal treatment. Furthermore, our results demonstrated significant increase in 125I-Aβ40 degradation as a result of the up-regulation of Aβ degrading enzymes following oleocanthal treatment. In conclusion, these findings provide experimental support that potential reduced risk of AD
associated with extra-virgin olive oil could be mediated by enhancement of Aβ clearance from the brain.
Source: ACS Chemical Neuroscience