Apolipoprotein D (apoD) expression is known to be elevated in select regions of rodent and human brain in association with different types of CNS pathology. To investigate a potential role for apoD in the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease, we have measured apoD mRNA expression in transgenic mice expressing mutated human amyloid precursor protein under control of platelet-derived growth factor promoter (PDAPP mice). In situ hybridization analysis revealed increased apoD mRNA expression in brains of aged (26 months) PDAPP transgenic mice compared to aged littermate controls. These increases were most prominent in the hippocampal fimbria, corpus callosum and other white matter tracts. No substantial increases in expression were observed in white matter regions in young (6 months) PDAPP transgenic mice compared to young controls. Comparison between aged and young control mice revealed increased apoD expression in similar white matter regions of the aged animals. These findings suggest that, although increases in apoD expression are a normal feature of brain aging, super-increases may represent a glial cell compensatory response to beta-amyloid deposition in Alzheimer's disease.