Alzheimer's risk gene impairs development of new neurons in mice

July 30, 2018, Society for Neuroscience
ApoE-expressing astrocytes (green) interacting with tdTomato-expressing dendrites (red) from adult newborn hippocampal neurons. Credit: Tensaouti et al., eNeuro (2018)

Scientists have taken a step closer to understanding how the strongest known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) contributes to memory impairment. Reporting their findings in eNeuro, the researchers demonstrate a critical role of the risk gene in the proper development of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus.

Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is among the genes that regulate ongoing generation of neurons in the dentate gyrus of the . A variant of this gene called ApoE4—present in 10 to 20 percent of the human population—is also associated with the development of late-onset AD.

Investigating the effects of ApoE on adult neurogenesis, Tzong-Shiue Yu, Steven Kernie, and colleagues found reduced complexity of the dendrites of adult-born neurons in mice with genetically silenced ApoE compared to unaltered mice, as well as in those expressing ApoE4 compared to ApoE3-expressing mice—ApoE3, the most common variant found in humans, is not associated with disease risk.

These findings suggest a potential explanation for the increased risk of neuropsychiatric diseases involving the hippocampus, including AD, among ApoE4 carriers.

Explore further: Neuroscientists discover roles of gene linked to Alzheimer's

More information: ApoE regulates the development of adult newborn hippocampal neurons, eNeuro, DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0155-18.2018

Related Stories

Neuroscientists discover roles of gene linked to Alzheimer's

May 31, 2018
People with a gene variant called APOE4 have a higher risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease: APOE4 is three times more common among Alzheimer's patients than it is among the general population. However, little ...

Unraveling genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

July 2, 2018
The strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease may impair the brain's ability to convert its primary fuel source into usable energy, finds a study of female mice published in JNeurosci. The research suggests therapeutic ...

Newly ID'd role of major Alzheimer's gene suggests possible therapeutic target

September 20, 2017
Nearly a quarter century ago, a genetic variant known as ApoE4 was identified as a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease—one that increases a person's chances of developing the neurodegenerative disease by up to 12 ...

Scientists fix genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells

April 9, 2018
Using human brain cells, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes discovered the cause of—and a potential solution for—the primary genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, a gene called apoE4.

Gene variant may increase psychiatric risk after traumatic brain injury

May 14, 2018
A variant of the APOE gene may be linked to worse psychiatric symptoms in people who have had a traumatic brain injury, found a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System study. Study participants with both the gene variant ...

Recommended for you

Double discovery reveals insights behind brain degeneration

August 13, 2018
Research discoveries revealing the genetic causes of neurological degeneration could be a key to slowing the progression of devastating diseases.

Scientists turn unexpected brain study results into research tool

August 13, 2018
Puzzled by their experimental results, a team of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital investigated why a research tool that was expected to suppress neuronal activity actually was stimulating ...

Could nose cells treat spinal cord injuries?

August 13, 2018
Researchers have designed a new way to grow nose cells in the lab heralding hope for sufferers of spinal cord injuries, including those who are wheelchair bound.

Study examines how people adapt to post stroke visual impairments

August 13, 2018
A new University of Liverpool study, published in Wiley Brain and Behaviour, examines the factors that influence how a person adapts to visual field loss following stroke.

Detailed atlas of the nervous system

August 10, 2018
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have created a systematic and detailed map of the cell types of the mouse nervous system. The map, which can provide new clues about the origin of neurological diseases, is presented in ...

Scientists uncover new details in how sense of smell develops

August 10, 2018
Dogs, known for their extraordinarily keen senses of smell, can be trained to use their sensitive sniffers to find drugs, bombs, bed bugs, missing hikers and even cancer. Among dogs and other animals that rely on smell, at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.