Antibodies Targeting an Alzheimer’s Gene Effectively Treat Cognitive Impairments in Mice

Antibodies Targeting an Alzheimer’s Gene Effectively Treat Cognitive Impairments in Mice
A new immunotherapy targeting apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), a genetic variant of apolipoprotein E that increases the risk of early onset Alzheimer's disease (AD), may be a potential therapeutic approach for a good number of patients with the disease, according to researchers at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Researchers, working with mouse models, found that blocking apoE4 in the brain reversed apoE4-induced cognitive impairments in the mice. Their study, "An Anti-apoE4 Specific Monoclonal Antibody Counteracts the Pathological Effects of apoE4 In Vivo," was published in Current Alzheimer Research. ApoE4 protein is involved in lipid metabolism, and is the most prevalent genetic risk factor of AD. More than half of Alzheimer's patients have been found to express this gene variant, which is known to lower the age of AD onset by seven to nine years per allele copy. In a recent study, other researchers revealed that apoE4 works by controlling the expression of genes involved in a variety of processes implicated in Alzheimer's pathogenesis, including aging, oxidative damage, accumulation of amyloid plaques, aggregation of tau protein, inflammation, and insulin resistance. This suggests that apoE4 may be a potential therapeutic target in AD. The researchers, led by Dr. Ishai Luz, explored whether the "toxic" apoE4 effects could, in vivo, be counteracted with monoclonal antibodies ta
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