Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the strongest genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease mainly by modulating amyloid-β pathology. APOE ε4 is also shown to exacerbate neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in a tau transgenic mouse model. To further evaluate the association of APOE genotype with the presence and severity of tau pathology, we express human tau via an adeno-associated virus gene delivery approach in human APOE targeted replacement mice. We find increased hyperphosphorylated tau species, tau aggregates, and behavioral abnormalities in mice expressing APOE ε2/ε2. We also show that in humans, the APOE ε2 allele is associated with increased tau pathology in the brains of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) cases. Finally, we identify an association between the APOE ε2/ε2 genotype and risk of tauopathies using two series of pathologically-confirmed cases of PSP and corticobasal degeneration. Our data together suggest APOE ε2 status may influence the risk and progression of tauopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)