Title: Gene-environment interaction between lead and Apolipoprotein E4 causes cognitive behavior deficits in mice.
Authors: Engstrom, Anna K; Snyder, Jessica M; Maeda, Nobuyo; Xia, Zhengui
Published In Mol Neurodegener, (2017 02 07)
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by progressive cognitive decline and memory loss. Environmental factors and gene-environment interactions (GXE) may increase AD risk, accelerate cognitive decline, and impair learning and memory. However, there is currently little direct evidence supporting this hypothesis.In this study, we assessed for a GXE between lead and ApoE4 on cognitive behavior using transgenic knock-in (KI) mice that express the human Apolipoprotein E4 allele (ApoE4-KI) or Apolipoprotein E3 allele (ApoE3-KI). We exposed 8-week-old male and female ApoE3-KI and ApoE4-KI mice to 0.2% lead acetate via drinking water for 12 weeks and assessed for cognitive behavior deficits during and after the lead exposure. In addition, we exposed a second (cellular) cohort of animals to lead and assessed for changes in adult hippocampal neurogenesis as a potential underlying mechanism for lead-induced learning and memory deficits.In the behavior cohort, we found that lead reduced contextual fear memory in all animals; however, this decrease was greatest and statistically significant only in lead-treated ApoE4-KI females. Similarly, only lead-treated ApoE4-KI females exhibited a significant decrease in spontaneous alternation in the T-maze. Furthermore, all lead-treated animals developed persistent spatial working memory deficits in the novel object location test, and this deficit manifested earlier in ApoE4-KI mice, with female ApoE4-KI mice exhibiting the earliest deficit onset. In the cellular cohort, we observed that the maturation, differentiation, and dendritic development of adult-born neurons in the hippocampus was selectively impaired in lead-treated female ApoE4-KI mice.These data suggest that GXE between ApoE4 and lead exposure may contribute to cognitive impairment and that impaired adult hippocampal neurogenesis may contribute to these deficits in cognitive behavior. Together, these data suggest a role for GXE and sex differences in AD risk.
PubMed ID: 28173832
MeSH Terms: Alzheimer Disease/chemically induced*; Alzheimer Disease/genetics*; Animals; Apolipoprotein E4/genetics*; Behavior, Animal/drug effects; Brain/drug effects; Brain/pathology; Disease Models, Animal; Female; Gene Knock-In Techniques; Gene-Environment Interaction*; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; Male; Mice; Mice, Transgenic; Organometallic Compounds/toxicity*