The release of cholesterol from choroid plexus epithelial cells (CPE) plays an important role in cholesterol homeostasis in the CSF. The purpose of this study was to clarify the molecules involved in cholesterol release in CPE and the regulation mechanisms of the cholesterol release by the liver X receptor (LXR) using a conditionally immortalized CPE line (TR-CSFB3). The mRNA expression of LXRα, LXRβ and their target genes, ATP-binding cassette transporter (ABC)A1, ABCG1, ABCG4 and ABCG5, were detected in rat choroid plexus. ABCA1 and ABCG1 protein were detected in the plasma membrane of TR-CSFB3 cells. Following treatment with 24S-hydroxycholesterol, an endogenous LXR ligand, the expression of ABCA1 and ABCG1 were induced in TR-CSFB3 cells. Moreover, apolipoprotein (apo)AI- and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-mediated cholesterol release to the apical side of TR-CSFB3 cells was facilitated by this treatment, whereas that to the basal side was not affected. Following 24S-hydroxycholesterol treatment, apoE3-dependent cholesterol release from TR-CSFB3 cells was enhanced more than the apoE4-dependent release. These results suggest that LXR activation facilitates cholesterol release into the CSF from CPE through the functional induction of ABCA1 and ABCG1. The difference between apoE3 and apoE4 suggests that the cholesterol release from CPE is related to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
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