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Abstract #2007

Sex Differences in Behavior, Brain Structure and Functional Connectivity in the APOE Epsilon 4 Knock-In Rat Model of Alzheimer's Disease:  Are Females the Stronger Sex?

Praveen P Kulkarni1, Dan Madularu1,2, Thomas R Morrison1, and Craig F Ferris1

1Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, United States, 2Brain Imaging Center, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

APOE genotypes are a major focus for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research following the localization of ApoE on neurofibrillary tangles and amyloids of senile plaques AD patients’ brain. The risk of developing AD increases with the frequency of the ε4 allele, with women outnumbering men. In this study we utilized multiple imaging modalities and behavioral assays to identify sex-specific anatomical biomarkers in a novel rat APOE-ε4 knock-in model. ε4+ males show greater variation in neural structure and function in terms of the proportion of brain areas affected; these results are reflected in sex-driven differences in behavior mirroring hippocampal function.

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