Defective neuronal sprouting by human apolipoprotein E4 is a gain-of-negative function

B. Teter, P. T. Xu, J. R. Gilbert, A. D. Roses, D. Galasko, G. M. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The apolipoprotein E (apoE) epsilon 4 allele (apoE4) is a major risk factor for neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). A role for apoE in regeneration of synaptic circuitry after neural injury has been shown in several in vitro studies in which apoE3 supports neuronal sprouting better than apoE4. We evaluated sprouting in an in vitro mouse organotypic hippocampal slice culture system derived from transgenic mice expressing apoE3 or apoE4, in which apo E-dependent granule cell mossy fiber sprouting in the presence of apoE4 is only 51% of the level of apoE3. Sprouting supported by apoE4 had a dose response opposite that by supported by apoE3: although increasing E3 expression increased sprouting, increasing E4 expression decreased sprouting, suggesting that the defect in E4 in supporting neuronal sprouting is a gain-of-negative activity. These results may have important pharmacogenomic implications for AD therapies that modulate apoE expression levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-336
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2002


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Neurite sprouting
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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