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      Estrogen and Alzheimer??s Disease : The Story So Far

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          Comparison of the ligand binding specificity and transcript tissue distribution of estrogen receptors alpha and beta.

          The rat estrogen receptor (ER) exists as two subtypes, ER alpha and ER beta, which differ in the C-terminal ligand binding domain and in the N-terminal transactivation domain. In this study we investigated the messenger RNA expression of both ER subtypes in rat tissues by RT-PCR and compared the ligand binding specificity of the ER subtypes. Saturation ligand binding analysis of in vitro synthesized human ER alpha and rat ER beta protein revealed a single binding component for 16 alpha-iodo-17 beta-estradiol with high affinity [dissociation constant (Kd) = 0.1 nM for ER alpha protein and 0.4 nM for ER beta protein]. Most estrogenic substances or estrogenic antagonists compete with 16 alpha-[125I]iodo-17 beta-estradiol for binding to both ER subtypes in a very similar preference and degree; that is, diethylstilbestrol > hexestrol > dienestrol > 4-OH-tamoxifen > 17 beta-estradiol > coumestrol, ICI-164384 > estrone, 17 alpha-estradiol > nafoxidine, moxestrol > clomifene > estriol, 4-OH-estradiol > tamoxifen, 2-OH-estradiol, 5-androstene-3 beta, 17 beta-diol, genistein for the ER alpha protein and dienestrol > 4-OH-tamoxifen > diethylstilbestrol > hexestrol > coumestrol, ICI-164384 > 17 beta-estradiol > estrone, genistein > estriol > nafoxidine, 5-androstene-3 beta, 17 beta-diol > 17 alpha-estradiol, clomifene, 2-OH-estradiol > 4-OH-estradiol, tamoxifen, moxestrol for the ER beta protein. The rat tissue distribution and/or the relative level of ER alpha and ER beta expression seems to be quite different, i.e. moderate to high expression in uterus, testis, pituitary, ovary, kidney, epididymis, and adrenal for ER alpha and prostate, ovary, lung, bladder, brain, uterus, and testis for ER beta. The described differences between the ER subtypes in relative ligand binding affinity and tissue distribution could contribute to the selective action of ER agonists and antagonists in different tissues.
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            Folate, vitamin B12, and serum total homocysteine levels in confirmed Alzheimer disease.

            Recent studies suggest that vascular disease may contribute to the cause of Alzheimer disease (AD). Since elevated plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) level is a risk factor for vascular disease, it may also be relevant to AD. To examine the association of AD with blood levels of tHcy, and its biological determinants folate and vitamin B12. Case-control study of 164 patients, aged 55 years or older, with a clinical diagnosis of dementia of Alzheimer type (DAT), including 76 patients with histologically confirmed AD and 108 control subjects. Referral population to a hospital clinic between July 1988 and April 1996. Serum tHcy, folate, and vitamin B12 levels in patients and controls at entry; the odds ratio of DAT or confirmed AD with elevated tHcy or low vitamin levels; and the rate of disease progression in relation to tHcy levels at entry. Serum tHcy levels were significantly higher and serum folate and vitamin B12 levels were lower in patients with DAT and patients with histologically confirmed AD than in controls. The odds ratio of confirmed AD associated with a tHcy level in the top third (> or = 14 micromol/L) compared with the bottom third (< or = 11 micromol/L) of the control distribution was 4.5 (95% confidence interval, 2.2-9.2), after adjustment for age, sex, social class, cigarette smoking, and apolipoprotein E epsilon4. The corresponding odds ratio for the lower third compared with the upper third of serum folate distribution was 3.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.8-6.3) and of vitamin B12 distribution was 4.3 (95% confidence interval, 2.1-8.8). The mean tHcy levels were unaltered by duration of symptoms before enrollment and were stable for several years afterward. In a 3-year follow-up of patients with DAT, radiological evidence of disease progression was greater among those with higher tHcy levels at entry. Low blood levels of folate and vitamin B12, and elevated tHcy levels were associated with AD. The stability of tHcy levels over time and lack of relationship with duration of symptoms argue against these findings being a consequence of disease and warrant further studies to assess the clinical relevance of these associations for AD.
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              Apolipoprotein E isoform-dependent amyloid deposition and neuritic degeneration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

              Apolipoprotein E (apoE) alleles determine the age-adjusted relative risk (epsilon4 > epsilon3) for Alzheimer's disease (AD). ApoE may affect AD pathogenesis by promoting deposition of the amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide and its conversion to a fibrillar form. To determine the effect of apoE on Abeta deposition and AD pathology, we compared APP(V717F) transgenic (TG) mice expressing mouse, human, or no apoE (apoE(-/-)). A severe, plaque-associated neuritic dystrophy developed in APP(V717F) TG mice expressing mouse or human apoE. Though significant levels of Abeta deposition also occurred in APP(V717F) TG, apoE(-/-) mice, neuritic degeneration was virtually absent. Expression of apoE3 and apoE4 in APP(V717F) TG, apoE(-/-) mice resulted in fibrillar Abeta deposits and neuritic plaques by 15 months of age and substantially (>10-fold) more fibrillar deposits were observed in apoE4-expressing APP(V717F) TG mice. Our data demonstrate a critical and isoform-specific role for apoE in neuritic plaque formation, a pathological hallmark of AD.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drugs & Aging
                Drugs & Aging
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1170-229X
                2002
                2002
                : 19
                : 6
                : 405-427
                Article
                10.2165/00002512-200219060-00002
                © 2002

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