Interactive rather than independent effect of and sex potentiates tau deposition in women.

TitleInteractive rather than independent effect of and sex potentiates tau deposition in women.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsWang Y-TT, Pascoal TA, Therriault J, Kang MSu, Benedet AL, Savard M, Tissot C, Lussier FZ, Arias JFernandez, Mathotaarachchi S, Rajah MNatasha, Gauthier S, Rosa-Neto P
Corporate AuthorsAlzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
JournalBrain Commun
Date Published2021

The apolipoprotein E gene () is the most important genetic risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer disease, with the allele being associated with increased cerebral amyloid-β and tau pathologies. Although has been suggested to have a stronger effect in women as compared to men, there is a lack of comprehensive assessment on how the interactive effect of and sex modulates regional vulnerability to tau accumulation. We previously have shown the regional vulnerability to the interactive effect of tau and , yet the sex difference was not specifically addressed. In this study, we leveraged PET imaging data from the Translational Biomarkers in Aging and Dementia cohort at McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging to elucidate the by-sex interactive effect on tau burden. We hypothesized sex-dependent regional vulnerability to tau deposition. PET radiopharmaceuticals [F]AZD4694 and [F]MK6240 were used to assess amyloid-β and tau level respectively in 277 subjects from the Translational Biomarkers in Aging and Dementia cohort. We found that the interaction between and sex, rather than their independent main effects, was associated with abnormal tau accumulation in medial temporal regions. Specifically, we found that female carriers showed significantly higher tau burden in early tau deposition regions including the hippocampus, entorhinal and parahippocampal cortices, after accounting for age, educational attainment, clinical diagnosis and neocortical amyloid load. We replicated these findings in 221 subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohort, in which a different tau-PET radioligand, [F]flortaucipir, was used to assess tau burden. In conclusion, this study provides evidence from two cohort studies that interactive rather than independent effect of and sex potentiates early tau deposition in women. Our results have important implications for clinical trials and practice, which should take into consideration both carriage status and sex for identifying individuals with the highest probability of developing tau accumulation and clinical progression.

Alternate JournalBrain Commun
PubMed ID34189460
PubMed Central IDPMC8226193