Apolipoprotein e deficiency leads to altered brain uptake of alpha tocopherol injected into lateral cerebral ventricles

Govind T. Vatassery, Hung T. Quach, W. Ed Smith, Karen S. SantaCruz, Sabita Roy

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15 Scopus citations


The incorporation of radioactive alpha tocopherol by various brain regions of wild type and apolipoprotein E (apoE)-deficient mice was investigated. Labeled tocopherol was injected into the lateral cerebral ventricles of 11 weeks old, male mice. Radioactive cholesterol injected simultaneously was used as an internal standard to account for experimental variability. Most areas of the brain of apoE-deficient mice took up less of alpha tocopherol per mg of protein than wild type animals. However, specific activity of alpha tocopherol was higher in cerebellum, pons, hypothalamus, midbrain and cerebral cortex in apoE-deficient brains than the wild type. This could be due to (a) the lower levels of alpha tocopherol in apoE-deficient brain and (b) reductions in the clearance and transport of tocopherol (possibly mediated by apoE). Tocopherol uptake by hippocampus was unusual since it was lower in apoE deficiency whether the data were expressed as specific activity or per mg of protein. Nearly all of the injected alpha tocopherol remained unchanged in the brains of both apoE-deficient and wild type animals suggesting low turnover. Overall, the current data reinforce the hypothesis that apoE is a key protein involved with the transport and/or retention of alpha tocopherol in brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-803
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Experiments reported in this paper were supported by General Medical Research Funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington DC, USA.


  • Apolipoprotein E
  • Cerebral ventricles
  • Cholesterol
  • Deficiency
  • Uptake
  • Vitamin E


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