Author(s): Lombardi VR, Garca M, Cacabelow R
Recent advances in molecular genetics have suggested that genetic predisposition can be considered one of the most important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) development. A significant increase in the number of amyloid plaques in AD patients with an apolipoprotein E4 (APOE) allele has been observed and the results of several genetic studies indicate that the etiology of this neurodegenerative disease is associated with the presence of the allele E4 of APOE gene. A potential source of damage in the AD brain is an altered response triggered by microglial activation, which is associated with senile plaque formation. In this study, in vitro cell cultures were established to investigate the effect of different concentrations of human sera (2.5% and 10%) with specific APOE genotypes from Alzheimer and non-Alzheimer subjects on ameboid and flat microglial cells obtained from adult rat hippocampus. Results show that this in vitro test can be applied as an in vitro model to test specific responses of microglia to human sera as well as a primary screening procedure to evaluate the effect of novel compounds for the treatment of AD and neuroimmune-associated disorders.