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Sex-specific effects of SNAP-25 genotype on verbal memory and Alzheimer's disease biomarkers in clinically normal older adults

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Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Feb 18. doi: 10.1002/alz.12989. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: We tested sex-dependent associations of variation in the SNAP-25 gene, which encodes a presynaptic protein involved in hippocampal plasticity and memory, on cognitive and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuroimaging outcomes in clinically normal adults.

METHODS: Participants were genotyped for SNAP-25 rs1051312 (T > C; SNAP-25 expression: C-allele > T/T). In a discovery cohort (N = 311), we tested the sex by SNAP-25 variant interaction on cognition, Aβ-PET positivity, and temporal lobe volumes. Cognitive models were replicated in an independent cohort (N = 82).

RESULTS: In the discovery cohort, C-allele carriers exhibited better verbal memory and language, lower Aβ-PET positivity rates, and larger temporal volumes than T/T homozygotes among females, but not males. Larger temporal volumes related to better verbal memory only in C-carrier females. The female-specific C-allele verbal memory advantage was evidenced in the replication cohort.

CONCLUSIONS: In females, genetic variation in SNAP-25 is associated with resistance to amyloid plaque formation and may support verbal memory through fortification of temporal lobe architecture.

HIGHLIGHTS: The SNAP-25 rs1051312 (T > C) C-allele results in higher basal SNAP-25 expression. C-allele carriers had better verbal memory in clinically normal women, but not men. Female C-carriers had higher temporal lobe volumes, which predicted verbal memory. Female C-carriers also exhibited the lowest rates of amyloid-beta PET positivity. The SNAP-25 gene may influence female-specific resistance to Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

PMID:36807763 | DOI:10.1002/alz.12989

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