Apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) and outer surface protein A (ospA) are pathogenic lipoproteins involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and Lyme neuroborreliosis, respectively. Results from previous studies indicate that apoE4 exhibits neurotoxicity by activating amyloid beta pathways, and ospA causes damage to the brain by stimulating immune activity of microglia and astrocytes. These results, however, lack information about the specific interactions that develop between neurons and these two lipoproteins. It is essential to investigate the effect of these lipoproteins on neuronal morphology and function to better understand the mechanism of damage and disease of the brain. This chapter summarizes previous studies on the role of apoE4 and ospA in diseases of the brain and discusses experimental results from our own work that suggests new roles for apoE4 and ospA in neuronal outgrowth and synaptic loss.
Part of the book: Advances in Lipoprotein Research