Mitochondrial dysfunction and immune activation are detectable in early Alzheimer's disease blood.
ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease (AD), like other dementias, is characterized by progressive neuronal loss and neuroinflammation in the brain. The peripheral leukocyte response occurring alongside these brain changes has not been extensively studied, but might inform therapeutic approaches and provide relevant disease biomarkers. Using microarrays, we assessed blood gene expression alterations occurring in people with AD and those with mild cognitive changes at increased risk of developing AD. Of the 2,908 differentially expressed probes identified between the three groups (p < 0.01), a quarter were altered in blood from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD subjects, relative to controls, suggesting a peripheral response to pathology may occur very early. There was strong evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction with decreased expression of many of the respiratory complex I-V genes and subunits of the core mitochondrial ribosome complex. This mirrors changes previously observed in AD brain. A number of genes encoding cell adhesion molecules were increased, along with other immune-related genes. These changes are consistent with leukocyte activation and their increased the transition from circulation into the brain. In addition to expression changes, we also found increased numbers of basophils in people with MCI and AD, and increased monocytes in people with an AD diagnosis. Taken together this study provides both an insight into the functional response of circulating leukocytes during neurodegeneration and also identifies potential targets such as the respiratory chain for designing and monitoring future therapeutic interventions using blood.
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ABSTRACT: Changes in brain amyloid burden have been shown to relate to Alzheimer's disease pathology, and are believed to precede the development of cognitive decline. There is thus a need for inexpensive and non-invasive screening methods that are able to accurately estimate brain amyloid burden as a marker of Alzheimer's disease. One potential method would involve using demographic information and measurements on plasma samples to establish biomarkers of brain amyloid burden; in this study data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was used to explore this possibility. Sixteen of the analytes on the Rules Based Medicine Human Discovery Multi-Analyte Profile 1.0 panel were found to associate with [(11)C]-PiB PET measurements. Some of these markers of brain amyloid burden were also found to associate with other AD related phenotypes. Thirteen of these markers of brain amyloid burden - c-peptide, fibrinogen, alpha-1-antitrypsin, pancreatic polypeptide, complement C3, vitronectin, cortisol, AXL receptor kinase, interleukin-3, interleukin-13, matrix metalloproteinase-9 total, apolipoprotein E and immunoglobulin E - were used along with co-variates in multiple linear regression, and were shown by cross-validation to explain >30% of the variance of brain amyloid burden. When a threshold was used to classify subjects as PiB positive, the regression model was found to predict actual PiB positive individuals with a sensitivity of 0.918 and a specificity of 0.545. The number of APOE ϵ 4 alleles and plasma apolipoprotein E level were found to contribute most to this model, and the relationship between these variables and brain amyloid burden was explored.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e44260. · 4.09 Impact Factor