[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid β-protein oligomers play a key role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but well-validated assays that routinely detect them in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are just emerging. We sought to confirm and extend a recent study using the Singulex Erenna platform that reported increased mean CSF oligomer levels in AD.
We tested four antibody pairs and chose one pair that was particularly sensitive, using 1C22, our new oligomer-selective monoclonal antibody, for capture. We applied this new assay to extracts of human brain and CSF.
A combination of 1C22 for capture and 3D6 for detection yielded an Erenna immunoassay with a lower limit of quantification of approximately 0.15 pg/ml that was highly selective for oligomers over monomers and detected a wide size-range of oligomers. Most CSFs we tested had detectable oligomer levels but with a large overlap between AD and controls and a trend for higher mean levels in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than controls.
Aβ oligomers are detectable in most human CSFs, but AD and controls overlap. MCI CSFs may have a modest elevation in mean value by this assay.
Alzheimer's Research and Therapy 12/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1186/s13195-015-0100-y · 3.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) are largely restricted to the entorhinal cortex and medial temporal lobe. At later stages, when clinical symptoms generally occur, NFT involve widespread limbic and association cortices. At this point in the disease, amyloid plaques are also abundantly distributed in the cortex. This observation from human neuropathological studies led us to pose two alternative hypotheses: that amyloid in the cortex is permissive for the spread of tangles from the medial temporal lobe, or that these are co-occurring but not causally related events simply reflecting progression of AD pathology.
We now directly test the hypothesis that cortical amyloid acts as an accelerant for spreading of tangles beyond the medial temporal lobe. We crossed rTgTauEC transgenic mice that demonstrate spread of tau from entorhinal cortex to other brain structures at advanced age with APP/PS1 mice, and examined mice with either NFTs, amyloid pathology, or both. We show that concurrent amyloid deposition in the cortex 1) leads to a dramatic increase in the speed of tau propagation and an extraordinary increase in the spread of tau to distal brain regions, and 2) significantly increases tau-induced neuronal loss.
These data strongly support the hypothesis that cortical amyloid accelerates the spread of tangles throughout the cortex and amplifies tangle-associated neural system failure in AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains diverse lipid particles, including lipoproteins that are distinct from their plasma counterparts and contain apolipoprotein (apo) E isoforms, apoJ, and apoAI, and extracellular vesicles, which can be detected by annexin V binding. The aim of this study was to develop a method to quantify CSF particles and evaluate their relationship to aging and neurodegenerative diseases. We used a flow cytometric assay to detect annexin V-, apoE-, apoAI-, apoJ-, and amyloid (A) β42-positive particles in CSF from 131 research volunteers who were neurologically normal or had mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia, or Parkinson disease. APOE ε4/ε4 participants had CSF apoE-positive particles that were more frequently larger but at an 88% lower level versus those in APOE ε3/ε3 or APOE ε3/ε4 patients; this finding was reproduced in conditioned medium from mouse primary glial cell cultures with targeted replacement of apoE. Cerebrospinal fluid apoE-positive and β-amyloid (Aβ42)-positive particle concentrations were persistently reduced one-third to one-half in middle and older age subjects; apoAI-positive particle concentration progressively increased approximately 2-fold with age. Both apoAI-positive and annexin V-positive CSF particle levels were reduced one-third to one-half in CSF of MCI and/or AD dementia patients versus age-matched controls. Our approach provides new methods to investigate CNS lipid biology in relation to neurodegeneration and perhaps develop new biomarkers for diagnosis or treatment monitoring.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and α-synuclein (α-syn)-rich Lewy bodies are the major neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease, respectively. An overlap of pathologies is found in most individuals with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and in more than 50% of AD cases. Their brains display substantial α-syn accumulation not only in Lewy bodies, but also in dystrophic neurites decorating Aβ plaques. Several studies report binding and coaggregation of Aβ and α-syn, yet the precise role of α-syn in amyloid plaque formation remains elusive. Here we performed intracerebral injections of α-syn-containing preparations into amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice (expressing APP695(KM670/671NL) and PSEN1(L166P) under the control of the neuron-specific Thy-1 promoter; referred to here as 'APPPS1'). Unexpectedly, α-syn failed to cross-seed Aβ plaques in vivo, but rather it inhibited plaque formation in APPPS1 mice coexpressing SNCA(A30P) (referred to here as 'APPPS1 × [A30P]aSYN' double-transgenic mice). This was accompanied by increased Aβ levels in cerebrospinal fluid despite unchanged overall Aβ levels. Notably, the seeding activity of Aβ-containing brain homogenates was considerably reduced by α-syn, and Aβ deposition was suppressed in grafted tissue from [A30P]aSYN transgenic mice. Thus, we conclude that an interaction between Aβ and α-syn leads to inhibition of Aβ deposition and to reduced plaque formation.
Nature medicine 06/2015; DOI:10.1038/nm.3885 · 28.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteolytic processing of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) by beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) is the initial step in the production of amyloid beta (Aβ), which accumulates in senile plaques in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Essential for this cleavage is the transport and sorting of both proteins through endosomal/Golgi compartments. Golgi-localized γ-ear-containing ARF-binding (GGA) proteins have striking cargo-sorting functions in these pathways. Recently, GGA1 and GGA3 were shown to interact with BACE1, to be expressed in neurons, and to be decreased in AD brain, whereas little is known about GGA2. Since GGA1 impacts Aβ generation by confining APP to the Golgi and perinuclear compartments, we tested whether all GGAs modulate BACE1 and APP transport and processing. We observed decreased levels of secreted APP alpha (sAPPα), sAPPβ, and Aβ upon GGA overexpression, which could be reverted by knockdown. GGA-BACE1 co-immunoprecipitation was impaired upon GGA-GAE but not VHS domain deletion. Autoinhibition of the GGA1-VHS domain was irrelevant for BACE1 interaction. Our data suggest that all three GGAs affect APP processing via the GGA-GAE domain.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129047 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -Epidemiological findings suggest a relationship between Alzheimer's disease (AD), inflammation and dyslipidemia, although the nature of this relationship is not well understood. We investigated whether this phenotypic association arises from a shared genetic basis.
-Using summary statistics (p-values and odds ratios) from genome-wide association studies of over 200,000 individuals, we investigated overlap in single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with clinically diagnosed AD and C-reactive protein (CRP), triglycerides (TG), high- (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. We found up to 50-fold enrichment of AD SNPs for different levels of association with CRP, LDL, HDL and TG SNPs using an FDR threshold < 0.05. By conditioning on polymorphisms associated with the four phenotypes, we identified 55 loci associated with increased AD risk. We then conducted a meta-analysis of these 55 variants across four independent AD cohorts (total n = 29,054 AD cases and 114,824 healthy controls) and discovered two genome-wide significant variants on chromosome 4 (rs13113697, closest gene HS3ST1, odds ratio (OR) = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.05-1.11, p = 2.86 x 10(-8)) and chromosome 10 (rs7920721, closest gene ECHDC3, OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 1.04-1.11, p = 3.38 x 10(-8)). We also found that gene expression of HS3ST1 and ECHDC3 was altered in AD brains compared with control brains.
-We demonstrate genetic overlap between AD, CRP, and plasma lipids. By conditioning on the genetic association with the cardiovascular phenotypes, we identify novel AD susceptibility loci including two genome-wide significant variants conferring increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) demonstrate the narrowing of retinal veins and decreased retinal venous blood flow compared with control subjects. We assessed whether these abnormalities are present in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between primary age-related tauopathy (PART) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently a matter of discussion. Recently the term PART was referred to cases characterized by mainly allocortical neurofibrillary (NF) pathology (Braak stages 0-IV) with only few or no amyloid (Aβ) deposits (Thal Aβ phases 0-2) . In addition, no elevated soluble Aβ was detected in this disorder [9, 46]. PART cases that lack any Aβ do not meet formal criteria for sporadic AD according to the NIA-AA guidelines . These neurofibrillary tangle (NFT)+/Aβ-brains are commonly observed in extreme old age [9, 15, 19]. When associated with a high density of NFTs in the same distribution and some cognitive deficits, the disorder has been referred to as tangle-predominant senile dementia (TPSD)  or “tangle-only dementia” .The new neuropathologic criteria recommend subdividing PART cases into “definite” (Braak stage ≤IV, Thal Aβ phase 0) and “possible” (Braak stage ≤IV, Thal Aβ phase 1-2) ...
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal active Caspase-6 (Casp6) is associated with Alzheimer disease (AD), cognitive impairment, and axonal degeneration. Caspase-1 (Casp1) can activate Casp6 but the expression and functionality of Casp1-activating inflammasomes has not been well-defined in human neurons. Here, we show that primary cultures of human CNS neurons expressed functional Nod-like receptor protein 1 (NLRP1), absent in melanoma 2, and ICE protease activating factor, but not the NLRP3, inflammasome receptor components. NLRP1 neutralizing antibodies in a cell-free system, and NLRP1 siRNAs in neurons hampered stress-induced Casp1 activation. NLRP1 and Casp1 siRNAs also abolished stress-induced Casp6 activation in neurons. The functionality of the NLRP1 inflammasome in serum-deprived neurons was also demonstrated by NLRP1 siRNA-mediated inhibition of speck formation of the apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain conjugated to green fluorescent protein. These results indicated a novel stress-induced intraneuronal NLRP1/Casp1/Casp6 pathway. Lipopolysaccharide induced Casp1 and Casp6 activation in wild-type mice brain cortex, but not in that of Nlrp1(-/-) and Casp1(-/-) mice. NLRP1 immunopositive neurons were increased 25- to 30-fold in AD brains compared with non-AD brains. NLRP1 immunoreactivity in these neurons co-localized with Casp6 activity. Furthermore, the NLRP1/Casp1/Casp6 pathway increased amyloid beta peptide 42 ratio in serum-deprived neurons. Therefore, CNS human neurons express functional NLRP1 inflammasomes, which activate Casp1 and subsequently Casp6, thus revealing a fundamental mechanism linking intraneuronal inflammasome activation to Casp1-generated interleukin-1-β-mediated neuroinflammation and Casp6-mediated axonal degeneration.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 6 March 2015; doi:10.1038/cdd.2015.16.
Cell Death and Differentiation 03/2015; DOI:10.1038/cdd.2015.16 · 8.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the genetic overlap between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Using summary statistics (P-values) from large recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) (total n=89 904 individuals), we sought to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associating with both AD and PD. We found and replicated association of both AD and PD with the A allele of rs393152 within the extended MAPT region on chromosome 17 (meta analysis P-value across five independent AD cohorts=1.65 × 10(-7)). In independent datasets, we found a dose-dependent effect of the A allele of rs393152 on intra-cerebral MAPT transcript levels and volume loss within the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. Our findings identify the tau-associated MAPT locus as a site of genetic overlap between AD and PD, and extending prior work, we show that the MAPT region increases risk of Alzheimer's neurodegeneration.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 17 February 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.6.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The Alzheimer disease (AD) APOEε4 risk allele associates with an earlier age of onset and increased amyloid-β deposition, whereas the protective APOEε2 allele delays the onset and appears to prevent amyloid-β deposition. Yet the clinical and pathological effects of APOEε2 remain uncertain because of its relative rarity. We investigated the effects of APOE ε2 and ε4 alleles on AD pathology and cognition in a large US dataset of well characterized AD patients. Methods: We studied individuals from the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC) autopsy cohort across the entire clinico-pathological continuum of AD. Multivariable models were built to examine the associations between APOE alleles and AD neuropathological changes, using the APOEε3/ε3 group as comparator. Mediation analysis was used to estimate the direct and indirect effects of APOE alleles on AD pathology and cognition (CDR-SOB and MMSE). Results: Compared to APOEε3/ε3, APOEε2 is independently associated with lower Braak NFT stages and, possibly, fewer neuritic plaques, but has no direct effect on CAA severity, whereas APOEε4 is associated with more neuritic plaques and CAA, but has no independent effect on Braak NFT stage. Unadjusted analyses showed marked differences among APOE genotypes with respect to cognitive performance (ε2>ε3>ε4). Mediation analysis suggests that this is largely explained through effects on pathology. Interpretation: Even when adjusted for age of onset, symptom duration and other demographic variables, APOEε2 is associated with milder AD pathology and less severe antemortem cognitive impairment compared to APOE ε3 and ε4 alleles, suggesting a relative neuroprotective effect of APOEε2 in AD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Annals of Neurology 01/2015; 77(6). DOI:10.1002/ana.24369 · 11.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular risk factors in mid-life predict late life cognitive decline in previously normal populations. We sought to investigate the contribution of vascular risk factors in late life to cognitive decline in a cohort of normal elderly individuals.
Cognitively normal subjects were identified from the longitudinal cohort of participants in the National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NACC) database (n=2975). The association between a composite score of vascular risk factors (based on the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile) and cognitive function was tested at baseline visit and estimated in longitudinal analyses using linear mixed-effects models.
Total vascular risk factor burden was associated with worse cognitive performance at baseline and faster decline longitudinally in univariate analyses but only with worse WAIS digit symbol performance in cross-sectional (estimate=-0.266 units/1 unit of Framingham Stroke Risk Profile Score; 95% confidence interval, -0.380 to -0.153; P<0.001) and longitudinal (estimate=-0.034 units/1 unit of Framingham Stroke Risk Profile Score/year; 95% confidence interval, -0.055 to -0.012; P=0.002) analyses after adjusting for age, education, and APOE genotype. Individuals with history of stroke performed significantly worse on the trails B, category fluency, and Boston naming tests in cross-sectional analyses and in delayed logical memory and digit span backwards in longitudinal analyses.
Although the modified Framingham Stroke Risk Profile in late-life predicts rate of decline on selective neurocognitive measures in previously normal elderly individuals, age appears to be the strongest risk factor for cognitive impairment in this population. History of stroke independently influences rate of cognitive decline in these individuals.