Biochemical staging of synucleinopathy and amyloid deposition in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Inserm Unit 815, Lille, France.
Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.35). 04/2006; 65(3):278-88. DOI: 10.1097/01.jnen.0000205145.54457.ea
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The primary feature of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the aggregation of alpha-synuclein into characteristic lesions: Lewy bodies (LBs) and Lewy neurites. However, in most of DLB cases, LBs are associated with neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques (both Alzheimer disease [AD]-related lesions). We wanted to determine if this overlap of lesions is statistical, as a result of the late onset of both diseases, or results from a specific physiopathological synergy between synucleinopathy and either tauopathy or amyloid pathology. All patients with DLB from our prospective and multidisciplinary study were analyzed. These cases were compared with cases with pure AD and patients with Parkinson disease and controls. All cases were analyzed thoroughly at the neuropathologic and biochemical levels with a biochemical staging of aggregated alpha-synuclein, tau, and Abeta species. All sporadic cases of DLB were associated with abundant deposits of Abeta x-42 that were similar in quality and quantity to those of AD. Amyloid precursor protein (APP) dysfunction is a risk factor for AD as demonstrated by pathogenic mutations and Abeta accumulation. The constant and abundant Abeta x-42 deposition in sporadic DLB suggests that synucleinopathy is also promoted by APP dysfunction. Therefore, we conclude that APP is a therapeutic target for both AD and DLB.

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    ABSTRACT: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is the second cause of degenerative dementia in autopsy studies. In clinical pratice however, the prevalence of DLB is much lower with important intercenter variations. Among the reasons for this low sensitivity of DLB diagnosis are (1) the imprecision and subjectivity of the diagnostic criteria; (2) the underestimation of non-motor symptoms (REM-sleep behavior disorder, dysautonomia, anosmia); mostly (3) the nearly constant association of Lewy bodies with Alzheimer's disease pathology, which dominates the clinical phenotype. With the avenue of targeted therapies against the protein agregates, new clinical scales able to apprehend the coexistence of Lewy pathology in Alzheimer's disease are expected.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The co-existence of vascular pathology in patients with Lewy body dementia (LBD) is still a matter of debate. This study analyses the prevalence and the severity of cerebrovascular lesions in post-mortem brains of patients with LBD. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty brains of demented patients with autopsy-proven Lewy body disease were compared to 14 brains of age-matched controls. RESULTS: Associated Alzheimer disease (AD) features, stages I-IV, were present in 70% of the LBD brains and in 7% of the controls (P<0.001). Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) was only present in 30% and lipohyalinosis in 10%. A semi-quantitative analysis, performed on a coronal section of a whole cerebral hemisphere and on a horizontal section through the pons and the cerebellum, revealed significantly more mini-bleeds in the LBD brains (P=0.007), predominantly in the cerebral cortex (P=0.03). Other cerebrovascular lesions were only rarely observed. Comparison of the LDB brains, with and without moderate AD features and CAA, showed no difference in the severity of the cerebrovascular lesions including mini-bleeds. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of mini-bleeds in LBD brains appears to be independent from the co-existence of moderate AD pathology and CAA. It is more probably due to disturbances of the blood-brain barrier, related to the neurodegenerative process itself.
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    ABSTRACT: Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is pathologically characterized by α-synuclein aggregates in the brain. Most patients with DLB also show cerebral Alzheimer disease-type pathology (i.e. β-amyloid plaques and hyperphosphorylated tau deposits). It is unclear whether this overlap is coincidental or driven by specific regional or cellular interactions. The aims of this study were to investigate the regional convergence of α-synuclein, tau, and β-amyloid and to identify patterns of cellular co-occurrence of tau and α-synuclein in DLB. The study group consisted of 22 patients who met clinical and neuropathologic criteria for DLB. Protein aggregates were assessed semiquantitatively in 17 brain areas. APOE and MAPT genotypes were determined. Cellular co-occurrence of tau and α-synuclein was evaluated by double immunofluorescence. We found that total β-amyloid pathology scores correlated positively with total α-synuclein pathology scores (ρ = 0.692, p = 0.001). The factors that correlated best with the amount of α-synuclein pathology were the severity of β-amyloid pathology and presence of the MAPT H1 haplotype. Tau and α-synuclein frequently colocalized in limbic areas, but no correlation between total pathology scores was observed. This study confirms and extends the role of β-amyloid deposition and the MAPT H1 haplotype as contributing factors in DLB pathogenesis and demonstrates the confluence of multiple agents in neurodegenerative diseases.
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