Cortical alpha-synuclein load is associated with amyloid-beta plaque burden in a subset of Parkinson's disease patients.
ABSTRACT Amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD) comprises extracellular plaques and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In Parkinson's disease (PD), alpha-synuclein forms intraneuronal Lewy bodies (LBs), and cortical LBs are thought to play a major role in cognitive decline designated as PD with dementia. As there is increasing evidence that Abeta may also promote alpha-synuclein fibrillization, we assessed the relationship between LB pathology and Abeta deposition in 40 cases of PD and 20 age-matched controls. In five cortical areas, we established the severity of Abeta plaque load using an approach similar to that recommended by CERAD in AD. LB densities were determined using a morphometric approach. CAA was graded using previously described scales. The APOE genotype was established in 38 PD and 19 control cases. We have found that the overall Abeta plaque burden and, in particular, the diffuse plaque load shows a statistically significant 'large' correlation with the overall cortical LB burden. The strength of this correlation further increases in PD cases (about 50% of the cases) with moderate to high Abeta plaque load. The APOE epsilon4 allele is over-represented in this subgroup. Our data indicate a strong association between pathologically identifiable Abeta plaque burden and alpha-synuclein load in cerebral cortex and provide indirect evidence that Abeta pathology is likely to be an important factor contributing to cognitive decline in a subgroup of PD patients.
SourceAvailable from: Marta Swirski[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Lewy body and Alzheimer-type pathologies often co-exist. Several studies suggest a synergistic relationship between amyloid-β (Aβ) and α-synuclein (α-syn) accumulation. We have explored the relationship between Aβ accumulation and the phosphorylation of α-syn at serine-129 (pSer129 α-syn), in post-mortem human brain tissue and in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells transfected to overexpress human α-syn. We measured levels of Aβ40, Aβ42, α-syn and pSer129 α-syn by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, in soluble and insoluble fractions of midfrontal, cingulate and parahippocampal cortex and thalamus, from cases of Parkinson's disease (PD) with (PDD; n = 12) and without dementia (PDND; n = 23), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; n = 10) and age-matched controls (n = 17). We also examined the relationship of these measurements to cognitive decline, as measured by time-to-dementia and the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score in the PD patients, and to Braak tangle stage. In most brain regions, the concentration of insoluble pSer129 α-syn correlated positively, and soluble pSer129 α-syn negatively, with the levels of soluble and insoluble Aβ. Insoluble pSer129 α-syn also correlated positively with Braak stage. In most regions, the levels of insoluble and soluble Aβ and the proportion of insoluble α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 were significantly higher in the PD and DLB groups than the controls, and higher in the PDD and DLB groups than the PDND brains. In PD, the MMSE score correlated negatively with the level of insoluble pSer129 α-syn. Exposure of SH-SY5Y cells to aggregated Aβ42 significantly increased the proportion of α-syn that was phosphorylated at Ser129 (aggregated Aβ40 exposure had a smaller, non-significant effect). Together, these data show that the concentration of pSer129 α-syn in brain tissue homogenates is directly related to the level of Aβ and Braak tangle stage, and predicts cognitive status in Lewy body diseases.Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2014; 6(5-8):77. DOI:10.1186/s13195-014-0077-y · 3.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is characterized by preserved whole brain and medial temporal lobe volumes compared with Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD) on magnetic resonance imaging. However, frequently coexistent AD-type pathology may influence the pattern of regional brain atrophy rates in DLB patients. We investigated the pattern and magnitude of the atrophy rates from 2 serial MRIs in autopsy-confirmed DLB patients (n = 20) and mixed DLB/AD patients (n = 22), compared with AD (n = 30) and elderly nondemented control subjects (n = 15), followed antemortem. DLB patients without significant AD-type pathology were characterized by lower global and regional rates of atrophy, similar to control subjects. The mixed DLB/AD patients displayed greater atrophy rates in the whole brain, temporoparietal cortices, hippocampus and amygdala, and ventricle expansion, similar to AD patients. In the DLB and DLB/AD patients, the atrophy rates correlated with Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage, cognitive decline, and progression of motor symptoms. Global and regional atrophy rates are associated with AD-type pathology in DLB, and these rates can be used as biomarkers of AD progression in patients with LB pathology.Neurobiology of Aging 07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.07.005 · 4.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are composed of amyloid-β (Aβ), especially N-truncated forms including Aβ4-42. These are thought to be neurotoxic. However, individuals may live for decades with biomarker evidence of cerebral β-amyloidosis (positive amyloid PET imaging and/or low cerebrospinal fluid levels of the 42 amino acid form of Aβ) without cognitive impairment. This condition may be termed pathological ageing (PA). Objective: To investigate whether there is a difference in the cerebral Aβ fragment pattern in brain specimens from non-demented (PA) and demented (AD) individuals expressing the full neuropathological triad of AD (senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and neurodegeneration). Methods: We extracted Aβ using formic acid and hybrid (6E10 and 4G8) immunoprecipitation from fresh-frozen temporal cortex tissue of 6 elderly individuals (mean age ± SD: 89 ± 3.5 years) with PA and 10 patients with AD (mean age ± SD: 72 ± 8.5 years). The full spectrum of Aβ peptides was determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Results: AD patients had generally more N-terminally truncated and pyroglutamate-modified Aβ than PA patients, whereas PA patients had on average more Aβ1-40 than AD patients. Conclusion: Senile plaques in AD may have an Aβ fragment composition distinct from PA with more N-terminally and pyroglutamate-modified Aβ peptides that may be linked to neurotoxicity. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.Neurodegenerative Diseases 01/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1159/000369465 · 3.45 Impact Factor