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Rejuvenation Res. 2007 Sep;10(3):293-9.

Apolipoprotein E genotypic frequencies among Down syndrome patients imply early unsuccessful aging for ApoE4 carriers.

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Gruppo di studio sull'Immunosenescenza, Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Metodologie Biomediche, Università Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


Down syndrome (DS) might be considered a model for unsuccessful and early aging, possibly accelerated for those who carry the APOE4 allele associated with common age-related diseases, e.g., Alzheimer's disease and a poor prognosis after acute myocardial infarction, causing lower ApoE4 frequencies among the very old in general populations. We compared ApoE genotypic frequencies found for healthy adults (n = 211, age < 40; n = 79, ages 70-79; n = 71, ages > 90) to those found for DS patients (n = 106, mean age 9 years), all living in western Sicily. We found that the frequency of the ApoE23 genotype increased with age among the healthy adults (8.5%, 6.4%, 19.7%; p = 0.024) while ApoE34 frequency decreased (16.1%, 12.6%, 4.1%; p = 0.012). DS patients had APOE34 genotypic frequencies very similar to those found in septuagenarians (9%; p = 0.005). Analyzing results according to surviving rate of persons with DS, an age-related reduction of ApoE3/4 genotype frequency was found comparing =5 years old to >5 years old DS subjects. These results highlight DS as a model to understand the role of APOE4 allele in unsuccessful ageing considering that a number of proinflammatory supernumerary genes (Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, Ets-2 transcription factors, Down syndrome critical region 1, stress-inducible factor, interferon-alpha receptor and the amyloid precursor protein) are located on chromosome 21 and are implied in the pathologic processes of DS.

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