Oxidative stress is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) but this has not been studied in young healthy persons at risk of the disease. Carrying an Apo ε4 allele is the major genetic risk factor for AD. We have observed that lymphocytes from young, healthy persons carrying at least one Apo ε4 allele suffer from reductive rather than oxidative stress, i.e., lower oxidized glutathione and P-p38 levels and higher expression of enzymes involved in antioxidant defense, such as glutamylcysteinyl ligase and glutathione peroxidase. In contrast, in the full-blown disease, the situation is reversed and oxidative stress occurs, probably because of the exhaustion of the antioxidant mechanisms just mentioned. These results provide insights into the early events of the progression of the disease that may allow us to find biomarkers of AD at its very early stages.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Apo E4; Free radicals; Glutathione; Oxidative stress.
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