Genetic–morphologic association study: association between the low density lipoprotein-receptor related protein (LRP) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy


Dr Mattheos Christoforidis, Spitzweidenweg 11, 07743 Jena, Germany. Tel: 0049-3641-9323074; Fax: 0049-3641-9323012; E-mail:


Accumulating evidence suggests that genetic factors such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), can act in different ways in the pathogenesis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The role of the low-density lipoprotein-receptor related protein (LRP), the major cerebral APOE receptor, in AD has been discussed controversially depending on data from different populations and methodological approaches. We examined the influence of LRP polymorphisms on CAA in 125 post-mortem cases genotyped for APOE and classified according to the neurofibrillary Braak and Braak staging of AD (indicating neurodegeneration grade). CAA was assessed separately for leptomeningeal (CAAlep.), noncapillary cortical (CAAcort.) and capillary cortical (CAAcap.) vessels in β-amyloid stained sections. Our results suggest: (i) the 87 bp allele of LRP5′ polymorphism (LRP5′) is an independent predictive factor for CAAcort. and CAAlep.; (ii) the C/C genotype (C allele) of the LRP exon 3 polymorphism is positively associated with  the  severity  of  CAAlep.  and  CAAcort.,  implicating a younger age of CAA onset and/or faster CAA progression; (iii) as CAAcort. and CAAlep. showed different genetic associations in contrast to CAAcap., we can underscore the hypothesis that different molecular mechanisms are involved in CAA pathogenesis of noncapillary and capillary cerebral vessels. Our results lead us to postulate that the LRP5′87 bp and the LRP exon 3 C alleles of the LRP gene (or another locus that might be in linkage disequilibrium with these LRP polymorphic sites) could modify cerebrovascular LRP function or expression in noncapillary cerebral vessels, leading to an increased cerebrovascular amyloid deposition.