Cerebrospinal fluid apolipoprotein E is reduced in Alzheimer's disease

Neuroreport. 1994 Dec 20;5(18):2534-6. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199412000-00032.


Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). ApoE is synthesized within the brain and has been suggested to be involved in the re-utilization of membrane lipids during neuronal repair and remyelination after injury. Spherical ApoE-containing lipoprotein particles are found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To study further the pathogenetic role of ApoE in degenerative brain disorders, we analysed ApoE in CSF. A significant (p < 0.001) reduction of CSF ApoE (1.5 +/- 1.2 ng ml-1) was found in AD compared with controls (5.0 +/- 2.7 ng ml-1). A less pronounced reduction was also found in frontal lobe dementia (3.1 +/- 1.5 ng ml-1; p < 0.05). These findings support the hypothesis that ApoE is involved in the pathogenesis of degenerative brain disorders such as AD. An increased reutilization of ApoE-lipid complexes in the brain, as part of a generalized repair process, may explain the low CSF ApoE in AD. Alternatively, the reduction of CSF ApoE may be caused by absorption of ApoE to senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Apolipoproteins E / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Dementia / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values


  • Apolipoproteins E