Amelioration of Tau and ApoE4-linked glial lipid accumulation and neurodegeneration with an LXR agonist

Alexandra Litvinchuk, Jung H. Suh, Jing L. Guo, Karin Lin, Sonnet S. Davis, Nga Bien-Ly, Eric Tycksen, G. Travis Tabor, Javier Remolina Serrano, Melissa Manis, Xin Bao, Choonghee Lee, Megan Bosch, Enmanuel J. Perez, Carla M. Yuede, Anil G. Cashikar, Jason D. Ulrich, Gilbert Di Paolo, David M. Holtzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a strong genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). APOE4 increases and APOE2 decreases risk relative to APOE3. In the P301S mouse model of tauopathy, ApoE4 increases tau pathology and neurodegeneration when compared with ApoE3 or the absence of ApoE. However, the role of ApoE isoforms and lipid metabolism in contributing to tau-mediated degeneration is unknown. We demonstrate that in P301S tau mice, ApoE4 strongly promotes glial lipid accumulation and perturbations in cholesterol metabolism and lysosomal function. Increasing lipid efflux in glia via an LXR agonist or Abca1 overexpression strongly attenuates tau pathology and neurodegeneration in P301S/ApoE4 mice. We also demonstrate reductions in reactive astrocytes and microglia, as well as changes in cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism in glia of tauopathy mice in response to LXR activation. These data suggest that promoting efflux of glial lipids may serve as a therapeutic approach to ameliorate tau and ApoE4-linked neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-403.e8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2024


  • Abca1
  • ApoE4
  • LXR agonist
  • Tau
  • cholesterol metabolism
  • lipid
  • microglia


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