Gender and genetic background effects on brain metal levels in APP transgenic and normal mice: implications for Alzheimer beta-amyloid pathology.J Inorg Biochem. 2006 May; 100(5-6):952-62.JI
The incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is greater in women than men at any age, as is the development of amyloid pathology in several transgenic mouse models of AD. Due to the involvement of metals in AD pathogenesis, variations between the sexes in metal metabolism may contribute to the sex difference in AD risk. In this study, we investigated sex differences in brain metal levels across the lifespan in mice of two different background strains, as well as in mice overexpressing the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid-beta protein (Abeta). We demonstrate consistently lower Cu and higher Mn levels in females compared with males at any age studied. The sex differences in Cu and Mn levels are independent of APP/Abeta expression. AD brain exhibits decreased Cu and increased Mn levels, as do transgenic mice overexpressing APP or Abeta. The age-dependent elevations of Cu, Fe and Co levels were found to be significantly greater in mice of B6/SJL background compared with B6/DBA. If depleting Cu and/or rising Mn levels contribute to AD pathogenesis, natural sex differences in these brain metal levels may contribute to the increased propensity of females to develop AD.