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Evidence in support of chromosomal sex influencing plasma based metabolome vs APOE genotype influencing brain metabolome profile in humanized APOE male and female mice

Yuan Shang, Aarti Mishra, Tian Wang, Yiwei Wang, Maunil Desai, Shuhua Chen, Zisu Mao, Loi Do, Adam S Bernstein, Theodore P Trouard and Roberta D Brinton

PLOS ONE, 2020, vol. 15, issue 1, 1-21

Abstract: Late onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with four well-established risk factors: age, APOE4 genotype, female chromosomal sex, and maternal history of AD. Each risk factor impacts multiple systems, making LOAD a complex systems biology challenge. To investigate interactions between LOAD risk factors, we performed multiple scale analyses, including metabolomics, transcriptomics, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and beta-amyloid assessment, in 16 months old male and female mice with humanized human APOE3 (hAPOE3) or APOE4 (hAPOE4) genes. Metabolomic analyses indicated a sex difference in plasma profile whereas APOE genotype determined brain metabolic profile. Consistent with the brain metabolome, gene and pathway-based RNA-Seq analyses of the hippocampus indicated increased expression of fatty acid/lipid metabolism related genes and pathways in both hAPOE4 males and females. Further, female transcription of fatty acid and amino acids pathways were significantly different from males. MRI based imaging analyses indicated that in multiple white matter tracts, hAPOE4 males and females exhibited lower fractional anisotropy than their hAPOE3 counterparts, suggesting a lower level of white matter integrity in hAPOE4 mice. Consistent with the brain metabolomic and transcriptomic profile of hAPOE4 carriers, beta-amyloid generation was detectable in 16-month-old male and female brains. These data provide therapeutic targets based on chromosomal sex and APOE genotype. Collectively, these data provide a framework for developing precision medicine interventions during the prodromal phase of LOAD, when the potential to reverse, prevent and delay LOAD progression is greatest.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225392

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