Cognitive Normal Older Adults with APOE-2 Allele Show a Distinctive Functional Connectivity Pattern in Response to Cerebral Aβ Deposition

Sheng-Min Wang, Dong Woo Kang, Yoo Hyun Um, Sunghwan Kim, Regina E. Y. Kim, Donghyeon Kim, Chang Uk Lee, Hyun Kook Lim International Journal of Molec | 발행연도 2023.07.08



The ε2 allele of apolipoprotein E (ε2) has neuroprotective effects against beta-amyloid (Aβ) pathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, its impact on the functional connectivity and hub efficiency in cognitively normal older adults (CN) with ε2 is unclear. We investigated the functional connectivity differences in the default mode network (DMN), salience network, and central executive network (CEN) between A-PET-negative (N = 29) and A-PET-positive (N = 15) CNs with ε2/ε2 or ε2/ε3 genotypes. The A-PET-positive CNs exhibited a lower anterior DMN functional connectivity, higher posterior DMN functional connectivity, and increased CEN functional connectivity compared to the A-PET-negative CNs. Cerebral Aβ retention was negatively correlated with anterior DMN functional connectivity and positively correlated with posterior DMN and anterior CEN functional connectivity. A graph theory analysis showed that the A-PET-positive CNs displayed a higher betweenness centrality in the middle frontal gyrus (left) and medial fronto-parietal regions (left). The betweenness centrality in the middle frontal gyrus (left) was positively correlated with Aβ retention. Our findings reveal a reversed anterior–posterior dissociation in the DMN functional connectivity and heightened CEN functional connectivity in A-PET-positive CNs with ε2. Hub efficiencies, measured by betweenness centrality, were increased in the DMN and CEN of the A-PET-positive CNs with ε2. These results suggest unique functional connectivity responses to Aβ pathology in CN individuals with ε2.