Differential Methylation in APOE (Chr19; Exon Four; from 44,909,188 to 44,909,373/hg38) and Increased Apolipoprotein E Plasma Levels in Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Central Nervous System Vascular Malformations
BACKGROUND: Biomarkers are essential for identification of individuals at high risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) for potential prevention of dementia. We investigated DNA methylation in the APOE gene and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) plasma levels as MCI biomarkers in Colombian subjects with MCI and controls. METHODS: In total, 100 participants were included (71% women; average age, 70 years; range, 43⁻91 years). MCI was diagnosed by neuropsychological testing, medical and social history, activities of daily living, cognitive symptoms and neuroimaging. Using multivariate logistic regression models adjusted by age and gender, we examined the risk association of MCI with plasma ApoE and APOE methylation. RESULTS: MCI was diagnosed in 41 subjects (average age, 66.5 ± 9.6 years) and compared with 59 controls. Elevated plasma ApoE and APOE methylation of CpGs 165, 190, and 198 were risk factors for MCI (p < 0.05). Higher CpG-227 methylation correlated with lower risk for MCI (p = 0.002). Only CpG-227 was significantly correlated with plasma ApoE levels (correlation coefficient = -0.665; p = 0.008). CONCLUSION: Differential APOE methylation and increased plasma ApoE levels were correlated with MCI. These epigenetic patterns require confirmation in larger samples but could potentially be used as biomarkers to identify early stages of MCI.