Author(s): Toledo JB, Da X, Weiner MW, Wolk DA, Xie SX,
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Abstract Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and it is thought to do so by modulating levels of its product, apolipoprotein E (Apo-E), and regulating amyloid-β (Aβ) clearance. However, information on clinical and biomarker correlates of Apo-E proteins is scarce. We examined the relationship of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma Apo-E protein levels, and APOE genotype to cognition and AD biomarker changes in 311 AD neuroimaging initiative subjects with CSF Apo-E measurements and 565 subjects with plasma Apo-E measurements. At baseline, higher CSF Apo-E levels were associated with higher total and phosphorylated CSF tau levels. CSF Apo-E levels were associated with longitudinal cognitive decline, MCI conversion to dementia, and gray matter atrophy rate in total tau/Aβ1-42 ratio and APOE genotype-adjusted analyses. In analyses stratified by APOE genotype, our results were only significant in the group without the ε4 allele. Baseline CSF Apo-E levels did not predict longitudinal CSF Aβ or tau changes. Plasma Apo-E levels show a mild correlation with CSF Apo-E levels, but were not associated with longitudinal cognitive and MRI changes. Based on our analyses, we speculate that increased CSF Apo-E2 or -E3 levels might represent a protective response to injury in AD and may have neuroprotective effects by decreasing neuronal damage independent of tau and amyloid deposition in addition to its effects on amyloid clearance.
This article was published in Acta Neuropathol
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism