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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Relation of coronary atherosclerosis and apolipoprotein E genotypes in Alzheimer patients.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Apolipoprotein E (apoE) epsilon 4 allele has been associated with a high risk for coronary heart disease. Increased frequency of the epsilon 4 allele has also been reported in patients with late-onset familial and sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). The aim of this study was to investigate the degree of coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis in a neuropathologically verified series of AD patients with different apoE genotypes. In addition, we studied the relationship between the degree of coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis and the extent of beta-amyloid (A beta) accumulation. METHODS: We studied 38 subjects (32 patients with definite AD and 6 age-matched control subjects) for whom postmortem autopsy delay was less than 8 hours. ApoE genotypes were identified through Hha I digestion of the polymerase chain reaction-amplified samples. We used A beta immunohistochemistry to detect diffuse and neuritic plaques as well as cerebrovascular amyloid. The degree of coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis was rated as none, mild, moderate, or severe. RESULTS: The apoE genotypes of the AD patients were epsilon 4/4 2, epsilon 3/4 19, epsilon 3/3 9, and epsilon 3/2 2. We found more severe atherosclerosis of the coronary vessels among AD patients with the apoE epsilon 4 allele compared with those AD patients without the epsilon 4 allele (chi 2 = 4.1, df = 1, P < .05). The extent of cerebral atherosclerosis did not differ among AD subgroups with and without the epsilon 4 allele. The degree of coronary or cerebral atherosclerosis was not related to the amount of amyloid accumulation in the frontal and temporal cortices or in the hippocampal structures. CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the association of apoE epsilon 4 allele with coronary atherosclerosis in AD patients.[1]


  1. Relation of coronary atherosclerosis and apolipoprotein E genotypes in Alzheimer patients. Kosunen, O., Talasniemi, S., Lehtovirta, M., Heinonen, O., Helisalmi, S., Mannermaa, A., Paljärvi, L., Ryynänen, M., Riekkinen, P.J., Soininen, H. Stroke (1995) [Pubmed]
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