Interaction between two cholesterol metabolism genes influences memory: findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention.

Engelman, C., R. Koscik, E. Jonaitis, O. Okonkwo, B. Hermann, R. La, and M. Sager. “Interaction Between Two Cholesterol Metabolism Genes Influences Memory: Findings from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention.”. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease : JAD, Vol. 36, no. 4, 2013, pp. 749-57.

The strongest genetic factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is APOE; nine additional susceptibility genes have recently been identified. The effect of these genes is often assumed to be additive and polygenic scores are formed as a summary measure of risk. However, interactions between these genes are likely to be important. We sought to examine the role of interactions between the nine recently identified AD susceptibility genes and APOE in cognitive function and decline in 1,153 participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, a longitudinal study of middle-aged adults enriched for a parental history of AD. Participants underwent extensive cognitive testing at baseline and up to two additional visits approximately 4 and 6 years later. The influence of the interaction between APOE and each of 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the nine recently identified genes on three cognitive factor scores (Verbal Learning and Memory, Working Memory, and Immediate Memory) was examined using linear mixed models adjusting for age, gender, and ancestry. Interactions between the APOE ε4 allele and both of the genotyped ABCA7 SNPs, rs3764650 and rs3752246, were associated with all three cognitive factor scores (p-values ≤ 0.01). Both of these genes are in the cholesterol metabolism pathway leading to AD. This research supports the importance of considering non-additive effects of AD susceptibility genes.

DOI: 10.3233/JAD-130482

PubMed: 23669301