The association of a cystatin C gene polymorphism with late-onset Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia

Chin J Physiol. 2003 Sep 30;46(3):111-5.


A polymorphism in the cystatin C (CST3) gene was suggested to associate with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study we attempted to determine the association between CST3 polymorphism and AD or vascular dementia (VD), and whether such effects are dependent of the APOE4 allele. The polymorphisms of CST3 genotype were determined using polymerase chain reactions (PCR) followed by gel electrophoresis in 124 AD, 70 VD, and 115 control individuals. No statistical difference in CST3B allele frequencies was observed among all three groups. Associations between CST3B/B genotype and AD patients older than 75-year-old, or VD patients younger than 75-year-old were evident. The APOE4 allele alone significantly increased the odds for the developing AD, but not VD. A logistic regression analysis revealed that either CST3 or its interaction with APOE4 were not significant predictors of AD. However, a synergistic association of CST3 and APOE4 alleles was observed in predicting VD patients. These results suggest that CST3 might interact with APOE4 on conferring vascular pathologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins / genetics*
  • Dementia, Vascular / epidemiology
  • Dementia, Vascular / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors


  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • CST3 protein, human
  • Cystatin C
  • Cystatins