Decreased blood-brain barrier P-glycoprotein function in the progression of Parkinson's disease, PSP and MSA

Author(s): Bartels AL, Willemsen AT, Kortekaas R, de Jong BM, de Vries R, et al.

Abstract

Decreased blood-brain barrier (BBB) efflux function of the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) transport system could facilitate the accumulation of toxic compounds in the brain, increasing the risk of neurodegenerative pathology such as Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated in vivo BBB P-gp function in patients with parkinsonian neurodegenerative syndromes, using [11C]-verapamil PET in PD, PSP and MSA patients. Regional differences in distribution volume were studied using SPM with higher uptake interpreted as reduced P-gp function. Advanced PD patients and PSP patients had increased [11C]-verapamil uptake in frontal white matter regions compared to controls; while de novo PD patients showed lower uptake in midbrain and frontal regions. PSP and MSA patients had increased uptake in the basal ganglia. Decreased BBB P-gp function seems a late event in neurodegenerative disorders, and could enhance continuous neurodegeneration. Lower [11C]-verapamil uptake in midbrain and frontal regions of de novo PD patients could indicate a regional up-regulation of P-gp function.

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