Exercise, but not antioxidants, reversed ApoE4-associated motor impairments in adult GFAP-ApoE mice.
Behav Brain Res. 2016 May 15 ;305:37-45. Epub 2016 Feb 15. PMID: 26892275
Motor dysfunction has been found to be predictive of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease and to occur earlier than cognitive impairments. While apolipoprotein (Apo) E4 has been associated with cognitive impairments, it remains unclear whether it also increases risk for motor dysfunction. Exercise and antioxidants are often recommended to reduce cognitive declines, however it is unclear whether they can successfully improve motor impairments. This study was designed to determine the extent of the impact of apolipoprotein genotype on motor function, and whether interventions such as exercise and antioxidant intake can improve motor function. This study is the first to identify the nature of the interaction between antioxidant intake and exercise using a mouse model expressing either the human ApoE3 or ApoE4 isoforms under glial fibrillary acid protein promoter (GFAP-ApoE3 and GFAP-ApoE4 mice). The mice were fed either a control diet or the control diet supplemented with vitamins E and C (1.12 IU/g dietα-tocopheryl acetate and 1.65mg/g ascorbic acid). Each genotype/diet group was further divided into a sedentary group or a group that followed a 6 days a week exercise regimen. After 8 weeks on their respective treatment, the mice were administered a battery of motor tests to measure reflexes, strength, coordination and balance. GFAP-ApoE4 mice exhibited impaired motor learning and diminished strength compared to the GFAP-ApoE3 mice. Exercise alone was more efficient at improving motor function and reversing ApoE4-associated impairments than antioxidants alone, even though improvements were rather subtle. Contrarily to expected outcomes, combination of antioxidants and exercise did not yield further improvements of motor function. Interestingly, antioxidants antagonized the beneficial effects of exercise on strength. These data suggest that environmental and genetic factors influence the outcome of interventions on motor function and should be investigated more thoroughly and taken into consideration when implementing changes in lifestyles.