Decreased content, rate of synthesis and export of cholesterol in the brain of apoE knockout mice

J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2018 Aug;50(4):283-287. doi: 10.1007/s10863-018-9757-9. Epub 2018 Apr 20.


Apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE-KO) mice present synaptic loss, cognitive dysfunction, and high plasma lipid levels that may affect brain function simulating Alzheimer disease. Plasma and brain sterols were measured in apoE-KO and in wild type control mice on a cholesterol-free, phytosterol-containing diet by gas chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer. Plasma cholesterol and phytosterols (campesterol and sitosterol) were higher in apoE-KO compared to control mice. Cholesterol precursors (desmosterol and lathosterol) were not detected in plasma of control mice but were present in apoE-KO mice. In the brain amounts of cholesterol, desmosterol, campesterol and 24-hydroxycholesterol were significantly lower in apoE-KO than in controls. There is a tendency in apoE-KO for lower values of 7α-hydroxycholesterol and 7β-hydroxycholesterol. Cholesterol content, synthesis rates (desmosterol) and export of 24-hydroxycholesterol are reduced in the brain of the severe hypercholesterolemic apoE-KO mice.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein E knockout mice; Brain; Oxysterols; Phytosterols; Sterols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Biological Transport
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / analogs & derivatives
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol / metabolism*
  • Hydroxycholesterols / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phytosterols / blood


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Hydroxycholesterols
  • Phytosterols
  • 24-hydroxycholesterol
  • campesterol
  • Cholesterol