A great number of epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the frequency of the epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) is markedly higher in sporadic and in familial late onset Alzheimer disease (AD). In the frontal cortex of AD patients, oxidative damage is elevated. We address the hypothesis that the APOE genotype and reactive oxygen-mediated damage are linked in the frontal cortex of AD patients.
We have related the APOE genotype to the levels of lipid oxidation (LPO) and to the antioxidant status, in frontal cortex tissues from age-matched control and AD cases with different APOE genotypes. LPO levels were significantly elevated in tissues from Alzheimer’s cases which are homozygous for the epsilon4 allele of APOE, compared to AD epsilon3/epsilon3 cases and controls. Activities of enzymatic antioxidants, such as catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX), were also higher in AD cases with at least one epsilon4 allele of APOE, while superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was unchanged. In the frontal cortex, the concentration of apoE protein was not different between controls and AD cases, and was genotype independent. The Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761), the neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and human recombinant apoE3 (hapoE3rec) were able to protect control, AD epsilon3/epsilon3 and epsilon3/epsilon4 cases against hydrogen peroxide/iron-induced LPO, while hapoE4rec was completely ineffective. Moreover, EGb 761 and DHEA had no effect in homozygous epsilon4 cases.
These results demonstrate that oxidative stress-induced injury and protection by antioxidants in the frontal cortex of AD cases are related to the APOE genotype.
Source: Free Radic Biol Med 1999 Sep;27(5-6):544-53
PMID: 10490274, UI: 99418836
(Neuroscience Division, Douglas Hospital Research Center, Verdun, Quebec, Canada. )