Genetic markers of cholesterol transport and gray matter diffusion: a preliminary study of the CETP I405V polymorphism


Variations of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein polymorphism (CETP I405V/rs5882) have been associated with an increased risk for neurodegeneration, particularly when examined in conjunction with the epsilon 4 isoform of apolipoprotein E (ApoE4). Despite these identified relationships, the impact of I405V on gray matter microstructure remains unknown. The present study examined the impact of the CETP I405V polymorphism on gray matter integrity among 52 healthy adults between ages 51 and 85. Gray matter was measured bilaterally using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics of fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD), and radial diffusivity (RD). Participants were grouped according to a dominant statistical model (II genotype vs. IV/VV genotypes) and secondary analyses were completed to examine the interactive effects of CETP and ApoE4 on DTI metrics. Compared to individuals with the IV/VV genotypes, II homozygotes demonstrated significantly higher MD in bilateral temporal, parietal, and occipital gray matter. Secondary analyses revealed higher FA and AD in the left temporal lobe of IV/VV genotypes with an ApoE4 allele. Our results provide preliminary evidence that CETP II homozygosity is a predisposing risk factor for gray matter abnormalities in posterior brain regions in healthy older adults, independent of an ApoE4 allele.

In Journal of Neural Transmission 2015