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Neurodegener Dis. 2005;2(5):233-41.

Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase on chromosome 10q is a susceptibility gene for sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Division of Psychiatry Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. It is characterized by beta-amyloid (A beta) plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and the degeneration of specifically vulnerable brain neurons. We observed high expression of the cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H) gene in specifically vulnerable brain regions of AD patients. CH25H maps to a region within 10q23 that has been previously linked to sporadic AD. Sequencing of the 5' region of CH25H revealed three common haplotypes, CH25Hchi2, CH25Hchi3 and CH25Hchi4; CSF levels of the cholesterol precursor lathosterol were higher in carriers of the CH25Hchi4 haplotype. In 1,282 patients with AD and 1,312 healthy control subjects from five independent populations, a common variation in the vicinity of CH25H was significantly associated with the risk for sporadic AD (p = 0.006). Quantitative neuropathology of brains from elderly non-demented subjects showed brain A beta deposits in carriers of CH25Hchi4 and CH25Hchi3 haplotypes, whereas no A beta deposits were present in CH25Hchi2 carriers. Together, these results are compatible with a role of CH25Hchi4 as a putative susceptibility factor for sporadic AD; they may explain part of the linkage of chromosome 10 markers with sporadic AD, and they suggest the possibility that CH25H polymorphisms are associated with different rates of brain A beta deposition.

Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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