Intravenously injected human apolipoprotein A-I rapidly enters the central nervous system via the choroid plexus

Sophie Stukas, Jerome Robert, Michael Lee, Iva Kulic, Michael Carr, Katherine Tourigny, Jianjia Fan, Dhananjay Namjoshi, Kalistyne Lemke, Nicole DeValle, Jeniffer Chan, Tammy Wilson, Anna Wilkinson, Rafi Chapanian, Jayachandran N. Kizhakkedathu, John R. Cirrito, Michael N. Oda, Cheryl L. Wellington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background-Brain lipoprotein metabolism is dependent on lipoprotein particles that resemble plasma high-density lipoproteins but that contain apolipoprotein (apo) E rather than apoA-I as their primary protein component. Astrocytes and microglia secrete apoE but not apoA-I; however, apoA-I is detectable in both cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue lysates. The route by which plasma apoA-I enters the central nervous system is unknown. Methods and Results-Steady-state levels of murine apoA-I in cerebrospinal fluid and interstitial fluid are 0.664 and 0.120 μg/mL, respectively, whereas brain tissue apoA-I is ≈ 10% to 15% of its levels in liver. Recombinant, fluorescently tagged human apoA-I injected intravenously into mice localizes to the choroid plexus within 30 minutes and accumulates in a saturable, dose-dependent manner in the brain. Recombinant, fluorescently tagged human apoA-I accumulates in the brain for 2 hours, after which it is eliminated with a half-life of 10.3 hours. In vitro, human apoA-I is specifically bound, internalized, and transported across confluent monolayers of primary human choroid plexus epithelial cells and brain microvascular endothelial cells. Conclusions-Following intravenous injection, recombinant human apoA-I rapidly localizes predominantly to the choroid plexus. Because apoA-I mRNA is undetectable in murine brain, our results suggest that plasma apoA-I, which is secreted from the liver and intestine, gains access to the central nervous system primarily by crossing the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier via specific cellular mediated transport, although transport across the blood-brain barrier may also contribute to a lesser extent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001156
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • ApoA-I
  • Central nervous system
  • Cerebrovascular endothelium
  • Choroid plexus
  • Transport


Dive into the research topics of 'Intravenously injected human apolipoprotein A-I rapidly enters the central nervous system via the choroid plexus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this