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Am J Pathol. 2006 Jan;168(1):245-60.

Neuronal or glial expression of human apolipoprotein e4 affects parenchymal and vascular amyloid pathology differentially in different brain regions of double- and triple-transgenic mice.

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Department Human Genetics, Experimental Genetics Group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) is associated with Alzheimer's disease by unknown mechanisms. We generated six transgenic mice strains expressing human ApoE4 in combination with mutant amyloid precursor protein (APP) and mutant presenilin-1 (PS1) in single-, double-, or triple-transgenic combinations. Diffuse, but not dense, amyloid plaque-load in subiculum and cortex was increased by neuronal but not glial ApoE4 in old (15 months) double-transgenic mice, whereas both diffuse and dense plaques formed in thalamus in both genotypes. Neuronal and glial ApoE4 promoted cerebral amyloid angiopathy as extensively as mutant PS1 but with pronounced regional differences: cortical angiopathy was induced by neuronal ApoE4 while thalamic angiopathy was again independent of ApoE4 source. Angiopathy correlated more strongly with soluble Abeta40 and Abeta42 levels in cortex than in thalamus throughout the six genotypes. Neither neuronal nor glial ApoE4 affected APP proteolytic processing, as opposed to mutant PS1. Neuronal ApoE4 increased soluble amyloid levels more than glial ApoE4, but the Abeta42/40 ratios were similar, although significantly higher than in single APP transgenic mice. We conclude that although the cellular origin of ApoE4 differentially affects regional amyloid pathology, ApoE4 acts on the disposition of amyloid peptides downstream from their excision from APP but without induction of tauopathy.

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