Overexpression of apolipoprotein E4 increases kainic-acid-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration

Xing Mei Zhang, Xi Jing Mao, Hong Liang Zhang, Xiang Yu Zheng, Therese Pham, Abdu Adem, Bengt Winblad, Eilhard Mix, Jie Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Apolipoprotein E (apoE) has an intricate biological function in modulating immune responses and apoE isoforms exhibit diverse effects on neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders. In the present study, we investigated the individual roles of apoE isoforms in the kainic acid (KA)-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration with focus on immune response and microglia functions. ApoE2, 3 and 4 transgenic mice as well as wild-type (WT) mice were treated with KA by intranasal route. ApoE4 overexpressing mice revealed several peculiarities as compared with other transgenic mice and WT mice, i.e. (1) they had more severe KA-induced seizures than apoE2 and 3 mice, (2) they exhibited neuron loss in hippocampus that was higher than in apoE2, 3 and WT mice, (3) KA administration resulted in higher counts of their head drops in the cross-area of elevated plus-maze, (4) they showed lower KA-induced rearing activity than apoE2 mice in the open-field test, (5) their KA-induced microglial expression of MHC-II and CD86 was elevated compared to apoE3 mice, (6) the KA-induced increase of microglial iNOS was higher than that in the other groups of mice, and (7) the TNF-α and IL-6 expression was decreased 7. days after KA application compared to untreated mice and mice treated 1. day with KA. However, the signaling pathway of NFκB or Akt seemed not to be involved in apoE-isoform dependent susceptibility to KA-induced neurotoxicity. In conclusion, over-expression of apoE4 deteriorated KA-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration in C57BL/6 mice, which might result from a higher up-regulation of microglia activation compared to apoE2 and 3 transgenic mice and WT mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Hippocampus
  • Isoform
  • Kainic acid
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Overexpression of apolipoprotein E4 increases kainic-acid-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this