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Neurosci Lett. 2019 May 28;707:134285. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.134285. [Epub ahead of print]

The role of APOE in transgenic mouse models of AD.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: dbalu2@uic.edu.
2
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA; Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: karsten2@uic.edu.
3
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: elouke@uic.edu.
4
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: jmaldo27@uic.edu.
5
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
6
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: valenana@uic.edu.
7
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address: mladu@uic.edu.

Abstract

Identified in 1993, APOE4 is the greatest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), increasing risk up to 15-fold compared to the common variant APOE3. Since the mid 1990's, transgenic (Tg) mice have been developed to model AD pathology and progression, primarily via expression of the familial AD (FAD) mutations in the presence of mouse-APOE (m-APOE). APOE4, associated with enhanced amyloid-β (Aβ) accumulation, has rarely been the focus in designing FAD-Tg mouse models. Initially, FAD-Tg mice were crossed with human (h)-APOE driven by heterologous promoters to identify an APOE genotype-specific AD phenotype. These models were later supplemented with FAD-Tg mice crossed with APOE-knockouts (APOE-/- or APOE-KO) and h-APOE-targeted replacement (h-APOE-TR) mice, originally generated to study the role of APOE genotype in peripheral lipid metabolism and atherosclerotic lesion development. Herein, we compare the m- and h-APOE multi-gene clusters, and then critically review the relevant history and approaches to developing a Tg mouse model to characterize APOE-dependent AD pathology, in combination with genetic (sex, age) and modifiable (e.g., inflammation, obesity) risk factors. Finally, we present recent data from the EFAD mice, which express 5xFAD mutations with the expression of the human apoE isoforms (E2FAD, E3FAD and E4FAD). This includes a study of 6- and 18-month-old male and female E3FAD and E4FAD, a comparison that enables examination of the interaction among the main AD risk factors: age, APOE genotype and sex. While no single transgenic mouse can capture the effects of all modifiable and genetic risk factors, going forward, a conscious effort needs to be made to include the factors that most significantly modulate AD pathology.

KEYWORDS:

APOE4 and AD risk; Aging FAD-Tg mice; Alzheimer's disease (AD); Apolipoprotein E; EFAD-Tg mouse model; Familial AD transgenic mice (FAD-Tg); sex and AD risk

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