The apolipoprotein E gene and its age-specific effects on cognitive function.

Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Neurobiology of aging (Impact Factor: 5.94). 12/2008; 31(10):1831-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.09.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The E4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) is a well-established determinant of Alzheimer's disease but its relation to cognitive function is much less understood. We studied the age-specific effects of the APOE*E4 allele on cognitive function and cardiovascular risk factors in 2208 related individuals. APOE*E4 allele was significantly associated with reduced test scores for Adult Verbal Learning Test, particularly on the memory and learning sub domains, in persons older than 50 years of age. The effect of APOE*E4 was independent of the effect of APOE*E4 on vascular risk factors and most pronounced on learning ability. Our findings suggest that APOE*E4 has an effect on cognitive function predominantly in the elderly, independent of vascular risk factors.

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    ABSTRACT: The diabetic drug rosiglitazone was reported to improve glucose tolerance in insulin-resistant ApoE3 but not ApoE4 knock-in mice. We therefore examined whether apolipoprotein E (ApoE) has genotype-specific effects on liver insulin function. At 12 weeks, no difference in liver insulin signaling was detected between fasting ApoE3 and ApoE4 mice. At 72 weeks however, ApoE4 mice had lower IRS-1 and PI3K expression, and reduced Akt phosphorylation. This decline was associated with lower insulin and higher glucose in ApoE4 mouse liver. Liver cholesterol was not affected. These results show that ApoE4 expression reduces liver insulin signaling and insulin levels, leading to higher glucose content.
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    ABSTRACT: Human ApoE4 accelerates memory decline in ageing and in Alzheimer's disease. Although intranasal insulin can improve cognition, this has little effect in ApoE4 subjects. To understand this ApoE genotype-dependent effect, we examined brain insulin signaling in huApoE3 and huApoE4 targeted replacement (TR) mice. At 32 weeks, lower insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) at S636/639 and Akt phosphorylation at T308 were detected in fasting huApoE4 TR mice as compared to fasting huApoE3 TR mice. These changes in fasting huApoE4 TR mice were linked to lower brain glucose content and have no effect on plasma glucose level. However, at 72 weeks of age, these early changes were accompanied by reduction in IRS2 expression, IRS1 phosphorylation at Y608, Akt phosphorylation at S473, and MAPK (p38 and p44/42) activation in the fasting huApoE4 TR mice. The lower brain glucose was significantly associated with higher brain insulin in the aged huApoE4 TR mice. These results show that ApoE4 reduces brain insulin signaling and glucose level leading to higher insulin content.
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    ABSTRACT: It remains controversial whether APOE E4 polymorphism is related to cognitive function in general population. We aimed to evaluate an association between the APOE E4 genotype and cognitive function, and whether this association may differ by age. Cognitive function was assessed using the Korean version of modified Mini-Mental State Examination (K-mMMSE) in 10,371 Koreans aged 45-74 years in Namwon City. According to the APOE E4 status, all participants were classified as non-carriers, heterozygotes, or homozygotes. Multiple linear and logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between APOE genotypes and cognition. The frequency of APOE genotypes in the study population was 0.4, 10.1, 1.1, 72.9, 14.7 and 0.8 % for E2E2, E2E3, E2E4, E3E3, E3E4, and E4E4, respectively. Compared to the APOE E4 non-carriers, the heterozygotes and homozygotes showed 1.3 and 7.3 % lower K-mMMSE scores at 65-74 years and 0.8 and 4.6 % higher scores at 45-55 years, respectively. Educational attainment modified the effect of APOE E4 on cognitive function in the 45-54 age group (p for interaction =0.003), showing that the E4 carriers with no-formal education showed significantly higher cognitive function than those with formal education. The present study demonstrates that the effect of APOE E4 on cognitive function depends on age and education.
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Jun 5, 2014