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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 7905486, 13 pages
Review Article

P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) and Oxidative Stress: Focus on Alzheimer’s Disease

1Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2Department for Life Quality Studies, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Corso d’Augusto, 237, 47900 Rimini, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Patrizia Hrelia; ti.obinu@ailerh.aizirtap

Received 2 August 2017; Accepted 30 October 2017; Published 26 November 2017

Academic Editor: Sandra Donnini

Copyright © 2017 Giulia Sita et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, in particular P-glycoprotein (encoded by ABCB1), are important and selective elements of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and they actively contribute to brain homeostasis. Changes in ABCB1 expression and/or function at the BBB may not only alter the expression and function of other molecules at the BBB but also affect brain environment. Over the last decade, a number of reports have shown that ABCB1 actively mediates the transport of beta amyloid (Aβ) peptide. This finding has opened up an entirely new line of research in the field of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Indeed, despite intense research efforts, AD remains an unsolved pathology and effective therapies are still unavailable. Here, we review the crucial role of ABCB1 in the Aβ transport and how oxidative stress may interfere with this process. A detailed understanding of ABCB1 regulation can provide the basis for improved neuroprotection in AD and also enhanced therapeutic drug delivery to the brain.