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Brain. 2008 May;131(Pt 5):1252-8. doi: 10.1093/brain/awn034. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Increased CSF-BACE 1 activity is associated with ApoE-epsilon 4 genotype in subjects with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Psychiatry, Alzheimer Memorial Center, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, Germany.


The Apolipoprotein (ApoE) epsilon 4 allele is a major genetic risk factor of Alzheimer's disease, and may affect the production of amyloid beta (A beta(1-42)). Recently, we have shown that beta-secretase (BACE 1) activity can be reliably detected within the brain and human CSF. Here, we have examined an association between the ApoE genotype and CSF-levels of BACE 1 activity in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A total of 148 subjects were included: 60 Alzheimer's disease patients, 51 MCI subjects and 37 elderly healthy controls. The CSF-levels of A beta(1-42), BACE 1 activity and BACE protein were measured in all of these subjects. The differences between ApoE-epsilon 4 carriers and ApoE-epsilon 4 non-carriers in these CSF-based measures were determined controlling for gender, age and MMSE score. The ApoE-epsilon 4 genotype was associated with increased BACE 1 activity in both Alzheimer's disease (P = 0.03) and MCI (P = 0.04) subjects. Levels of A beta(1-42) were decreased in ApoE-epsilon 4 carriers in MCI (P = 0.004) but not Alzheimer's disease subjects. This study is the first to demonstrate the association between ApoE-epsilon 4 and CSF-BACE 1 activity in MCI and Alzheimer's disease subjects. The assessment of BACE 1 in CSF may provide a sensitive measure to detect in vivo alterations in the amyloidogenic processing potentially modified by the ApoE genotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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