The effect of APOE genotype on brain levels of oxysterols in young and old human APOE ε2,ε3 and ε4 knock-in mice

A. M. Jenner, W. L F Lim, M. P E Ng, M. R. Wenk, G. Shui, M. J. Sharman, S. E. Gandy, R. N. Martins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Despite apolipoprotein E's important role in cholesterol transport and metabolism in the brain as well as its influence on Alzheimer's disease, the impact of the human APOE genotype on cholesterol metabolism in brain has not been fully examined. This study was carried out to investigate APOE genotype effects on oxysterols measured. In this study the measurement of cholesterol and several oxysterols in the brains of human APOE ε2, ε3 and ε4 knock-in mice at 8 weeks and 1 year of age using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) demonstrated no APOE genotype or age effect on total brain cholesterol and the oxysterol 24-hydroxycholesterol. The level of 27-hydroxycholesterol was elevated in 1 year old animals for all APOE genotypes. Interestingly, lathosterol an indicator of cholesterol synthesis was significantly reduced in the 1 year old animals for all APOE genotypes. APOE ε4 expressing mice exhibited statistically lower levels of lathosterol compared to APOE ε2 in both the young and old mice. Oxidized cholesterol metabolites were significantly lower in APOE ε2 mice compared to other genotypes at 8 weeks old. Although minimal differences were observed between APOE E3 and E4 knock-in (KI) mice, these findings indicate that there are some clear APOE genotype specific effects on brain cholesterol synthesis and associated metabolic pathways, particularly in APOE ε2 KI mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • 24-hydroxycholesterol
  • 27-hydroxycholesterol
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • APOE KI mice
  • Oxysterols

Cite this