Since apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) is the major genetic risk for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), proteins that interact with apoE might be involved in AD pathogenesis. Low density lipoprotein receptor related protein (LRP) is an apoE receptor in the brain. In exon 3 of the LRP gene a polymorphism was found to be underrepresented in AD compared to normal Caucasian subjects (N). We examined this polymorphism in Chinese AD and N subjects. The polymorphism frequency in N was roughly half that reported for Caucasians. Compared to N, the frequency was significantly decreased in pathologically diagnosed, but not in clinically diagnosed AD patients. Thus, the role of the LRP exon 3 polymorphism in AD has now been demonstrated in two ethnic groups, suggesting the importance of LRP in AD pathogenesis.