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Drug's effect on Alzheimer's may depend on severity of disease
Date:7/16/2014

e brain."

Results of previous studies in mice of bexarotene's effect on AD have been mixed, and none of those studies were done in mice that carry a human APOE gene and also develop progressive, AD-like pathology. The UIC research presented in Copenhagen is the first to do so.

LaDu, working with Leon Tai, research assistant professor in anatomy and cell biology, and their coworkers gave bexarotene to mice carrying APOE4 or APOE3 for seven days during the early, intermediate, or late stages of AD. The researchers then measured the levels of soluble amyloid-beta in the brains of the mice.

In mice carrying human APOE4 with later-stage AD, the researchers saw a 40 percent reduction in soluble amyloid-beta and an increase in the binding of apolipoprotein to amyloid-beta. But in APOE4 or APOE3 mice with earlier-stage AD, the amount of soluble amyloid-beta actually increased. When the researchers gave APOE4 mice bexarotene for one month starting when they had early-stage AD to see if the drug could prevent disease progression, there was no beneficial effect.

Tai thinks that for people who carry the APOE4 gene, short-term treatment with bexarotene in the later stages of disease may be beneficial. But further research is needed, he said, to determine length and timing of treatment -- and, importantly, whether the drug will benefit APOE3 carriers.

"Bexarotene also is extremely toxic to the liver," Tai said. "For prevention, where a drug is given before the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease appear, and likely over longer periods of time, bexarotene is not likely a viable therapeutic because of this known toxicity unless dosing is carefully controlled and patients are closely monitored."


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Contact: Sharon Parmet
sparmet@uic.edu
312-413-2695
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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