Bridging integrator 1 (BIN1) has been implicated in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by a number of genome wide association studies (GWAS) in a variety of populations. Here we measured BIN1 in frontal cortex samples from 24 sporadic AD and 24 age-matched non-dementia brains and correlated the expression of this protein with markers of AD. BIN1 was reduced by 87% (p=0.007) in sporadic AD compared to non-dementia controls, but BIN1 in sporadic AD did not correlate with soluble Aβ (rs=-0.084, p=0.698), insoluble Aβ (rs=0.237, p=0.269), Aβ plaque load (rs=0.063, p=0.771) or phospho-tau load (rs=-0.160, p=0.489). In contrast to our findings in sporadic AD, BIN1 was unchanged in the hippocampus from 6 cases of familial AD compared to 6 age-matched controls (p=0.488). BIN1 declined with age in a cohort of non-dementia control cases between 25 and 88 years but the correlation was not significant (rs=-0.449, p=0.081). Although BIN1 is known to have a role in endocytosis, and the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) to form amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides is dependent on endocytosis, knockdown of BIN1 by targeted siRNA or the overexpression of BIN1 in a human neuroblastoma cell line (SH-SY5Y) had no effect on APP processing. These data suggest that the alteration in BIN1 is involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic, but not familial AD and is not a consequence of AD neurodegeneration or the ageing process, a finding in keeping with the numerous GWAS that implicate BIN1 in sporadic AD. However, the mechanism of its contribution remains to be established.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, and represents a vast worldwide socio-economic burden, and in the absence of a current cure, effective therapeutic strategies are still needed. Cholinergic and cerebral blood flow deficits, excessive levels of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and glutamate excitatory mechanisms are all believed to contribute to the development and progression of the disease. Scoparia dulcis, Catharanthus roseus, Sesamum indicum, Erythrina senegalensis and Vigna unguiculata represent five plants that have been used as traditional medicines for the treatment of AD in certain cultures. Review of the scientific literature was conducted to explore the properties of these plants that might be beneficial and explain what would be perceived by many to be largely anecdotal evidence of their benefit. All plants were found to possess varying levels of anti-oxidant capability. Scoparia dulcis was also found to potentiate nerve growth factor-like effects upon cell lines. Catharanthus roseus appears to inhibit acetylcholinesterase with relatively high potency, while Sesamum indicum demonstrated the strongest antioxidant ability. Comparisons with currently used plant derived therapeutics illustrate how these plants may be likely to have some therapeutic benefits in AD. The evidence presented also highlights how appropriate dietary supplementation with some of these plants in various cultural settings might have effects analogous or complementary to the so-called protective Mediterranean diet. However, prior to embarking on making any formal recommendations to this end, further rigorous evaluation is needed to better elucidate the breadth and potential toxicological aspects of medicinal properties harboured by these plants. This would be vital to ensuring a more informed and safe delivery of preparations of these plants if they were to be considered as a form of dietary supplementation and where appropriate, how these might interact with more formally established therapies in relation to AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; oxidative stress; hypertension; diabetes; neuroprotective; cholinergic; scoparia dulcis; catharanthus roseus; sesamum indicum; erythrina senegalensis; vigna unguiculata
The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). PrPC decreases amyloid-β (Aβ) production, which is involved in AD pathogenesis, by inhibiting β-secretase (BACE1) activity. Contactin 5 (CNTN5) has also been implicated in the development of AD by a genome-wide association study. Here we measured PrPC and CNTN5 in frontal cortex samples from 24 sporadic AD and 24 age-matched control brains and correlated the expression of these proteins with markers of AD. PrPC was decreased in sporadic AD compared to controls (by 49%, p = 0.014) but there was no difference in CNTN5 between sporadic AD and controls (p = 0.217). PrPC significantly inversely correlated with BACE1 activity (rs = −0.358, p = 0.006), Aβ load (rs = −0.456, p = 0.001), soluble Aβ (rs = −0.283, p = 0.026) and insoluble Aβ (rs = −0.353, p = 0.007) and PrPC also significantly inversely correlated with the stage of disease, as indicated by Braak tangle stage (rs = −0.377, p = 0.007). CNTN5 did not correlate with Aβ load (rs = 0.040, p = 0.393), soluble Aβ (rs = 0.113, p = 0.223) or insoluble Aβ (rs = 0.169, p = 0.125). PrPC was also measured in frontal cortex samples from 9 Down's syndrome (DS) and 8 age-matched control brains. In contrast to sporadic AD, there was no difference in PrPC in the DS brains compared to controls (p = 0.625). These data are consistent with a role for PrPC in regulating Aβ production and indicate that brain PrPC level may be important in influencing the onset and progression of sporadic AD.
ACE is a candidate gene for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and associations have been reported between ACE variants and plasma ACE levels, AD risk, AD age at onset of disease and cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ. Despite evidence that ACE can degrade Aβ, the relationships between ACE variants and the levels of different types of Aβ in the brain are not known. We have investigated the relationship between AD-associated ACE variants, for which the associations with brain activity of ACE were previously analysed, and brain homogenate levels of soluble, insoluble and oligomeric Aβ. Reported AD risk variants in the ACE indel (rs1799752) and its ‘proxy’ rs4343 were significantly associated with soluble Aβ level in AD only (p=0.001), as was rs1800764 but less so (p=0.014). In contrast, insoluble Aβ was associated with ACE indel and rs4343 variants in controls only (p < 0.01). No associations were found for oligomeric Aβ. These data indicate a complex relationship between ACE and Aβ that differs between AD and control brains.
Alzheimer's disease; angiotensin; ACE; amyloid; neuropathology; soluble Aβ; insoluble Aβ; SNP; association; Aβ degrading enzyme; cerebral blood flow; hypertension
Progressive mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to neuronal degeneration in age-mediated disease. An essential regulator of mitochondrial function is the deacetylase, sirtuin 3 (SIRT3). Here we investigate a role for CNS Sirt3 in mitochondrial responses to reactive oxygen species (ROS)- and Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-mediated stress. Pharmacological augmentation of mitochondrial ROS increases Sirt3 expression in primary hippocampal culture with SIRT3 over-expression being neuroprotective. Furthermore, Sirt3 expression mirrors spatiotemporal deposition of β-amyloid in an AD mouse model and is also upregulated in AD patient temporal neocortex. Thus, our data suggest a role for SIRT3 in mechanisms sensing and tackling ROS- and AD-mediated mitochondrial stress.
The association between angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) genotypes and functional decline in older adults remains controversial. To assess if ACE gene variations influences functional abilities at older age, the present study explored the association between the common ACE insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism and disability measured with activities of daily living (ADL) in hospitalized older patients. We analyzed the frequency of the ACE genotypes (I/I, I/D, and D/D) in a population of 2,128 hospitalized older patients divided according to presence or absence of ADL disability. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for possible confounding factors, identified an association between the I/I genotype with ADL disability (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.04–2.29). This association was significant in men (OR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.07–3.78), but not in women (OR = 1.36, 95% CI 0.82–2.25). These results suggested a possible role of the ACE polymorphism as a genetic marker for ADL disability in hospitalized older patients.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme; Disability; Aging; Hospitalized patients
Reducing excessive accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key objective of most AD therapies, and inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) may delay onset or progression of AD. The effects of an ACE-inhibitor (ACE-I) and an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) on Aβ and tau pathology in a triple transgenic (3xTGAD) mouse model of AD were investigated. 9-10month 3xTGAD mice were treated with ARB, ACE-I or vehicle for 6 months. Mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) was measured periodically and mice were assessed behaviourally. Aβ, phospho-tau, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and ACE activity were analysed. MABP was significantly reduced at 2 weeks and 3 months in the ACE-I group and at 3 months in the ARB group, compared to vehicle. Neither drug altered performance of 3xTGAD mice in Morris Water Maze or T-maze, nor were Aβ, tau immunolabelling or APP levels altered. ACE-I significantly reduced ACE activity in kidney. Prolonged treatment with ACE-I or ARB does not affect Aβ or phospho-tau accumulation in brains of aged 3xTGAD mice.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor; angiotensin II receptor blocker; hypertension; triple transgenic mouse model; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-beta
Neuroinflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Variations in genes relevant to inflammation may be candidate genes for AD risk. Whole-genome association studies have identified relevant new and known genes. Their combined effects do not explain 100% of the risk, genetic interactions may contribute. We investigated whether genes involved in inflammation, i.e. PPAR-α, interleukins (IL) IL- 1α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 may interact to increase AD risk.
The Epistasis Project identifies interactions that affect the risk of AD. Genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PPARA, IL1A, IL1B, IL6 and IL10 was performed. Possible associations were analyzed by fitting logistic regression models with AD as outcome, controlling for centre, age, sex and presence of apolipoprotein ε4 allele (APOEε4). Adjusted synergy factors were derived from interaction terms (p<0.05 two-sided).
We observed four significant interactions between different SNPs in PPARA and in interleukins IL1A, IL1B, IL10 that may affect AD risk. There were no significant interactions between PPARA and IL6.
In addition to an association of the PPARA L162V polymorphism with the AD risk, we observed four significant interactions between SNPs in PPARA and SNPs in IL1A, IL1B and IL10 affecting AD risk. We prove that gene-gene interactions explain part of the heritability of AD and are to be considered when assessing the genetic risk. Necessary replications will require between 1450 and 2950 of both cases and controls, depending on the prevalence of the SNP, to have 80% power to detect the observed synergy factors.
AD; genetics; epistasis; inflammation; interleukin; steroid receptors; PPAR-alpha; sporadic; genetic interaction
Neprilysin (NEP), also known as membrane metalloendopeptidase (MME), is considered amongst the most important β-amyloid (Aβ)-degrading enzymes with regard to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. Variation in the NEP gene (MME) has been suggested as a risk factor for AD. We conducted a genetic association study of 7MME SNPs – rs1836914, rs989692, rs9827586, rs6797911, rs61760379, rs3736187, rs701109 - with respect to AD risk in a cohort of 1057 probable and confirmed AD cases and 424 age-matched non-demented controls from the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden. We also examined the association of these MME SNPs with NEP protein level and enzyme activity, and on biochemical measures of Aβ accumulation in frontal cortex – levels of total soluble Aβ, oligomeric Aβ1-42, and guanidine-extractable (insoluble) Aβ – in a sub-group of AD and control cases with post-mortem brain tissue. On multivariate logistic regression analysis one of the MME variants (rs6797911) was associated with AD risk (P = 0.00052, Odds Ratio (O.R. = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (1.16-1.70)). None of the SNPs had any association with Aβ levels; however, rs9827586 was significantly associated with NEP protein level (p=0.014) and enzyme activity (p=0.006). Association was also found between rs701109 and NEP protein level (p=0.026) and a marginally non-significant association was found for rs989692 (p=0.055). These data suggest that MME variation may be associated with AD risk but we have not found evidence that this is mediated through modification of NEP protein level or activity.
Neprilysin; MME; gene; association; β-Amyloid; alzheimer disease; polymorphism
Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), are increased in serum and CSF in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We investigated the effect of TNF-α on gene and protein expression levels of Aβ degrading enzymes (ACE, ECE-1, ECE- 2, IDE and NEP) in vitro. Differentiated (DC) and non-differentiated (NDC) neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) were exposed to TNF-α for 15 minutes and 3 hours and protein and gene expression levels measured using western blotting or sandwich ELISA (ECE-2), and real time-PCR (RT-PCR). Only ECE-2 protein levels decreased significantly in NDCs in a dose-dependent manner after 15 minutes of TNF-α exposure but reverted to basal levels after 3 hours. Basal NEP gene expression levels were higher in control DCs compared to NDCs but TNF-α treatment did not significantly alter the levels of expression of any of the Aβ degrading enzymes. In conclusion, apart from a transient reduction in ECE-2 protein levels, TNF-α had no impact in our in vitro experimental system on transcription or translation of any of our selected mediators of Aβ degradation.
Alzheimer's disease; inflammation; TNF-α; SH-SY5Y cells; RT-PCR; western blot
PICALM, the gene encoding phosphatidylinositol-binding clathrin assembly (picalm) protein, was recently shown to be associated with risk of Alzheimer disease (AD). Picalm is a key component of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. It recruits clathrin and adaptor protein (AP)-2 to the plasma membrane and along with AP-2 recognizes target proteins. The attached clathrin triskelions cause membrane deformation around the target proteins enclosing them within clathrin-coated vesicles to be processed in lysosomes or endosomes. We examined the distribution of picalm in control and AD brain tissue and measured levels of picalm mRNA by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Immunolabeling of brain tissue showed that picalm is predominately present in endothelial cells. This was further supported by the demonstration of picalm in human cerebral microvascular cells grown in culture. Picalm mRNA was elevated in relation to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase but not factor VIII-related antigen or CD31 mRNA in the frontal cortex in AD. No change was seen in the temporal cortex or thalamus. The transport of Aβ across vessel walls and into the bloodstream is a major pathway of Aβ removal from the brain and picalm is ideally situated within endothelial cells to participate in this process. Further research is needed to determine whether PICALM expression is influenced by Aβ levels and whether it affects Aβ uptake and transport by endothelial cells.
Alzheimer disease; β-amyloid; Clathrin-mediated endocytosis; Endothelial cells; Picalm
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs capable of regulating gene expression at the translational level. A number of studies have suggested that the expression of several miRNAs is changed in AD. The pro-inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor-a (TNF-α) is increased in serum and CSF in AD. We measured the expression of TNFA and several AD candidate gene-associated miRNAs (let7a/b, miR-128a/b, miR-27a/b, miR-155) in frontal and temporal neocortex from AD and control brains. The expression of these miRNAs was also measured after incubating non-differentiated (NDC) and retinoic acid -differentiated (DC) SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells with TNF-α. TNFA expression was similar in AD and control brains but miR-128a/b levels were significantly reduced in the temporal cortex and miR-128b in the frontal cortex in AD. MiRNA levels did not correlate with TNFA expression in brain tissue but exposure of NDC and DC SH-SY5Y cells to TNF-α caused a variable dose-dependent response in the level of some of the miRNAs studied. Our brain tissue findings argue against a role for TNF-α in influencing the expression of these miRNAs in AD.
Alzheimer's disease; Tumour necrosis factor-a; microRNA; SH-SY5Y cells
Background: Reducing the excessive accumulation of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a key objective of most AD therapies. Several studies suggest that pharmacological inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) or its by-product angiotensin II may delay onset or progression of dementia and it has been suggested that this occurs via regulation of Aβ. Intraneuronal oligomeric accumulation of Aβ is postulated to be one of the earliest pathological events. Thus this study investigated the effect of an ACE-inhibitor, captopril, and two angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), eprosartan and valsartan, on intraneuronal Aβ pathology and oligomeric Aβ levels in a triple transgenic (3xTGAD) mouse model of AD. Methods: Male, adult (3-4 month old) 3xTgAD mice (n=39) were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups: valsartan (0.17g/l), eprosartan (0.8g/l), captopril (5g/l) or normal drinking water and the drugs given ad libitum for 2 months. Mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) was measured at baseline, at 2 weeks and at 2 months when the mice were sacrificed and the brains hemisected for analysis. One hemisphere was processed for Aβ and amyloid precursor protein (APP) immunohistochemistry and the other for biochemical measurement of oligomeric Aβ and APP. ACE activity was measured in the brain and kidney. Results: MABP was significantly reduced at 2 weeks and 2 months in the ACE-I group (p=0.0006) but was unaltered in the ARB groups compared to vehicle. Neither ACE-I nor ARB treatment altered Aβ and APP immunolabelling or the level of Aβ or APP in brain tissue homogenates. Similarly neither ACE-I nor ARB treatment altered ACE activity in either brain or kidney compared to control tissue. Conclusions: ACE-I or ARB administration over 2 months did not affect APP levels or either intraneuronal Aβ or oligomeric Aβ levels in 3xTGAD mice. While ARBs did not alter MABP, captopril did mediate reductions in MABP in the 3xTGAD mice which appeared to be independent of ACE activity. Further studies are needed to examine the effects of these drugs over a longer term and in older mice (i.e. when AD-like changes are more pronounced).
Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor; angiotensin-II receptor blocker; triple transgenic mouse model; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid-beta (Aβ)
The sirtuins are a family of proteins remarkably conserved from yeast to humans. In organisms such as yeast, worms and flies it is quite well established that the activity of sirtuins prolongs lifespan. As a result of promising findings in simple organisms, sirtuins are now investigated in higher organisms in relation to the ageing process. In mammals there are seven different sirtuin proteins each encoded by individual genes (SIRT1-7). Although sirtuins share a highly conserved catalytic domain, they differ in their biological function. Some mammalian sirtuins have been implicated in different ageing pathways and their modulation has been deemed to be beneficial in different models of age-associated diseases. Overall, sirtuins could contribute to mechanisms of human longevity and avoid or delay the onset of age-associated disorders. Here we review and discuss the potential impact of genetic variation in the sirtuin genes in relation to human longevity and age-related diseases.
Ageing; longevity; sirtuin; SIRT1; SIRT3; SIRT4; genetic variation
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterised by the extensive deposition of amyloid beta (Aβ) within the parenchyma and vasculature of the brain. It is hypothesised that a dysfunction in Aβ degradation and/or its removal from the brain may result in accumulation as plaques. Low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) is a multifunctional receptor shown to be involved in cholesterol metabolism but also the removal of Aβ from the brain. Its ability to transport Aβ from the brain to the periphery has made it an attractive candidate for involvement in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have assessed the frequencies of 9 tag- SNPs and the commonly studied synonymous SNP within exon 3 (rs1799986) in a multi-centre AD/control cohort and performed haplotype analysis. We found no evidence from a combined total of 412 controls and 1057 AD patients to support the involvement of LRP-1 variation, including the most commonly studied variant in rs1799986 in conferring genetic susceptibility to increased risk of AD.
LRP-1; Alzheimer's disease; association analysis
Molecular epidemiology; genetics; open access journal
Studies in model organisms have demonstrated that components of insulin and insulin-like signaling pathways are involved in the regulation of lifespan but the relevance of those findings to humans has remained obscure. Here we provide evidence suggesting that variants of the gene encoding insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) may be influencing human lifespan. We have employed a variety of models and diverse samples that reproducibly indicate the relative change in IDE genotype frequency across the age spectrum as well as allow the detection of association with age-at-death. A tenable molecular basis of this is suggested by the observation of genetic association with both fasting plasma insulin levels and IDE mRNA expression. Across populations the emergent genetic model is indicative of over-dominance, where heterozygotes of critical markers have increased IDE mRNA expression and insulin levels, and this is reflected in diminished heterozygosity at advanced age. A critical and replicating feature of this study is that change in IDE genotype frequency with advancing age appears to be occurring only in men, and this is supported in that insulin levels are only associated with IDE in men. Results suggest a relationship between a gene that is intimately involved in insulin metabolism and the determination of lifespan in humans, but over-dominance and gender specificity will be important parameters to consider clarifying the biological importance of these findings.
Studies in model organisms have demonstrated that components of insulin and insulin-like signaling pathways are involved in the regulation of lifespan but the relevance of those findings to humans has remained obscure. Here we provide evidence suggesting that variants of the gene encoding insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) may be influencing human lifespan. We have employed a variety of models and diverse samples that reproducibly indicate the relative change in IDE genotype frequency across the age spectrum as well as allow the detection of association with ageat-death. A tenable molecular basis of this is suggested by the observation of genetic association with both fasting plasma insulin levels and IDE mRNA expression. Across populations the emergent genetic model is indicative of over-dominance, where heterozygotes of critical markers have increased IDE mRNA expression and insulin levels, and this is reflected in diminished heterozygosity at advanced age. A critical and replicating feature of this study is that change in IDE genotype frequency with advancing age appears to only be occurring in men, and this is supported in that insulin levels are only associated with IDE in men. Results suggest a relationship between a gene that is intimately involved in insulin metabolism and the determination of lifespan in humans, but over-dominance and gender specificity will be important parameters to consider towards clarifying the biological importance of these findings.
The pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) features amyloid β peptide deposition, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and deficits in the cholinergic pathway. Abnormal blood pressure is recognised as a risk factor for the development of AD, although the underlying mechanisms remain unproven. This review proposes angiotensins and associated enzymatic pathways as important mediators of recognised but undefined links between blood pressure and AD. Evidence in support of this involvement translates consistently from the most basic in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo experimental paradigms to more complex human-based observational and experimental studies, which also fortunately offer potential for therapeutic interventions against AD.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) has been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD): ACE1 variations influence plasma ACE and risk of AD, and ACE is increased in AD brain. We measured frontal ACE level and activity in 89 AD and 51 control brains, and post-mortem CSF from 101 cases and 19 controls. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) level and Braak stage were used to indicate neuronal preservation and disease progression. We genotyped the common ACE insertion/deletion polymorphism, rs4343, rs1800764 and rs4921. ACE activity was elevated in AD and correlated with Braak stage. Crude ACE levels were unchanged but adjustment for NSE suggested increased neuronal ACE production with Braak stage. Exposing SH-SY-5Y neurons to oligomeric Aβ1-42 increased ACE level and activity, suggesting Aβ may upregulate ACE in AD. In CSF, ACE level but not activity was reduced in AD. ACE1 genotype did not predict ACE level or activity in brain or CSF. ACE activity and neuronal production increase in AD brain, possibly in response to Aβ. Peripheral measurements do not reflect ACE activity in the brain.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme; enzyme activity; Braak stage; ACE1; Alzheimer's disease; cerebrospinal fluid; neuron-specific enolase
A key pathological feature of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) is the abnormal extracellular accumulation of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide. Thus altered Aβ degradation could be a major contributor to the development of LOAD. Variants in the gene encoding the Aβ-degrading enzyme, angiotensin-1 converting enzyme (ACE) therefore represent plausible candidates for association with LOAD pathology and risk. Following Alzgene meta-analyses of all published case-control studies, the ACE variants rs4291 and rs1800764 showed significant association with LOAD risk. Furthermore ACE haplotypes are associated with both plasma ACE levels and LOAD risk. We tested three ACE variants (rs4291, rs4343 and rs1800764) for association with LOAD in ten Caucasian case-control populations (n=8,212). No association was found using multiple logistic models (all p>0.09). We found no population heterogeneity (all p>0.38) or evidence for association with LOAD risk following meta-analysis of the ten populations for rs4343 (OR=1.00), rs4291 (OR=0.97) or rs1800764 (OR=0.99). Although we found no haplotypic association in our complete dataset (p=0.51), a significant global haplotypic p-value was observed in one population (p=0.007) due to an association of the H3 haplotype (OR=0.72, p=0.02) and a trend towards an association of H4 (OR=1.38, p=0.09) and H7 (OR=2.07, p=0.08) although these did not survive Bonferroni correction. Previously reported associations of ACE variants with LOAD will be diminished following this study. At best, ACE variants have modest effect sizes, which are likely part of a complex interaction between genetic, phenotypic and pharmacological effects that would be undetected in traditional case-control studies.
Alzheimer Disease; Late Onset; Angiotensin-1 Converting Enzyme; Haplotype; Heterogeneity; Meta-Analysis
We sought to identify new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through a staged association study (GERAD+) and by testing suggestive loci reported by the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Consortium (ADGC). First, we undertook a combined analysis of four genome-wide association datasets (Stage 1) and identified 10 novel variants with P≤1×10−5. These were tested for association in an independent sample (Stage 2). Three SNPs at two loci replicated and showed evidence for association in a further sample (Stage 3). Meta-analyses of all data provide compelling evidence that ABCA7 (meta-P 4.5×10−17; including ADGC meta-P=5.0×10−21) and the MS4A gene cluster (rs610932, meta-P=1.8×10−14; including ADGC meta-P=1.2×10−16; rs670139, meta-P=1.4×10−9; including ADGC meta-P=1.1×10−10) are novel susceptibility loci for AD. Second, we observed independent evidence for association for three suggestive loci reported by the ADGC GWAS, which when combined shows genome-wide significance: CD2AP (GERAD+ P=8.0×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=8.6×10−9), CD33 (GERAD+ P=2.2×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=1.6×10−9) and EPHA1 (GERAD+ P=3.4×10−4; including ADGC meta-P=6.0×10−10). These findings support five novel susceptibility genes for AD.
Late Onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the leading cause of dementia. Recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified the first strongly supported LOAD susceptibility genes since the discovery of the involvement of APOE in the early 1990s. We have now exploited these GWAS datasets to uncover key LOAD pathophysiological processes.
We applied a recently developed tool for mining GWAS data for biologically meaningful information to a LOAD GWAS dataset. The principal findings were then tested in an independent GWAS dataset.
We found a significant overrepresentation of association signals in pathways related to cholesterol metabolism and the immune response in both of the two largest genome-wide association studies for LOAD.
Processes related to cholesterol metabolism and the innate immune response have previously been implicated by pathological and epidemiological studies of Alzheimer's disease, but it has been unclear whether those findings reflected primary aetiological events or consequences of the disease process. Our independent evidence from two large studies now demonstrates that these processes are aetiologically relevant, and suggests that they may be suitable targets for novel and existing therapeutic approaches.