Objective: This study considers the use of a rapid molecular assay to evaluate apolipoprotein E (ApoE) status in military subjects who have been exposed to high altitude. We hypothesize that ApoE status may be protective against developing brain white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) after high altitude exposure. Results: We tested 92 subjects who had been exposed to altitudes above 25,000 ft mean sea level, either as pilots or as altitude chamber technicians. We determined subject genetic status using rapid Taqman-style polymerase chain reaction genotyping and evaluated the association of ApoE subtype versus brain lesions using t-tests and two-way analyses of variance. Our results indicate that there is no significant association between ApoE genotype status and the presence of WMHs after high altitude exposure. We did observe a significantly higher number of hours spent at altitude for subjects with the ApoE E2 allele; however, the mechanism by which this may occur is not determined in this study. To more fully elucidate this effect, larger populations would be required to observe greater numbers of subjects with the E2 and E4 alleles.
- Apolipoprotein E
- Genotype screening
- High altitude acclimatization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)