Apolipoprotein E (apoE), involved in cholesterol and lipid metabolism, also influences cognitive function and injury repair. In humans, apoE is expressed in three isoforms. E4 is a risk factor for age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, particularly in women. E4 might also be a risk factor for developing behavioral and cognitive changes following 56Fe irradiation, a component of the space environment astronauts are exposed to during missions. These changes might be related to enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, we compared the behavioral and cognitive performance of sham-irradiated and irradiated wild-type (WT) mice and mice expressing the human E3 or E4 isoforms, and assessed the generation of ROS in hippocampal slices from these mice. E4 mice had greater anxiety-like and conditioned fear behaviors than WT mice, and these genotype differences were associated with greater levels of ROS in E4 than WT mice. The greater generation of ROS in the hippocampus of E4 than WT mice might contribute to their higher anxiety levels and enhanced fear conditioning. In E4, but not WT, mice, phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-treated hippocampal slices showed more dihydroxy ethidium oxidation in sham-irradiated than irradiated mice and hippocampal heme oxygenase-1 levels were higher in irradiated than sham-irradiated E4 mice. (Figure presented.) Mice with apolipoprotein E4 (E4), a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, have greater anxiety-like and conditioned fear behaviors than wild-type (WT) mice. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS, in red) 3 months following 56Fe irradiation, a component of the space environment astronauts are exposed to, is more pronounced in the hippocampus of E4 than WT mice. In E4, but not WT, mice, hippocampal levels of the oxidative stress-relevant marker heme oxygenase-1 are higher in irradiated than sham-irradiated E4 mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience