[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 · 3.98 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: Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics based on the amyloid hypothesis have shown minimal efficacy in patients, suggesting that the activity of amyloid beta (Aβ) represents only one aspect of AD pathogenesis. Since neuroinflammation is thought to play an important role in AD, we hypothesized that cytokines may play a direct role in promoting neuronal death. Here, we profiled cytokine expression in a small cohort of human AD and control brain tissues. We identified AD-associated cytokines using partial least squares regression to correlate cytokine expression with quantified pathologic disease state and then used neuron cultures to test whether cytokines up-regulated in AD tissues could affect neuronal viability. This analysis identified cytokines that were associated with the pathological severity. Of the top correlates, only TNF-α reduced viability in neuron culture when applied alone. VEGF also reduced viability when applied together with Aβ, which was surprising because VEGF has been viewed as a neuro-protective protein. We found that this synthetic pro-death effect of VEGF in the context of Aβ was commensurate with VEGFR-dependent changes in multiple signaling pathways that govern cell fate. Our findings suggest that profiling of tissues combined with a culture-based screening approach can successfully identify new mechanisms driving neuronal death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies, tau protein aggregates into neurofibrillary tangles that progressively spread to synaptically connected brain regions. A prion-like mechanism has been suggested: misfolded tau propagating through the brain seeds neurotoxic aggregation of soluble tau in recipient neurons. We use transgenic mice and viral tau expression to test the hypotheses that trans-synaptic tau propagation, aggregation, and toxicity rely on the presence of endogenous soluble tau. Surprisingly, mice expressing human P301Ltau in the entorhinal cortex showed equivalent tau propagation and accumulation in recipient neurons even in the absence of endogenous tau. We then tested whether the lack of endogenous tau protects against misfolded tau aggregation and toxicity, a second prion model paradigm for tau, using P301Ltau-overexpressing mice with severe tangle pathology and neurodegeneration. Crossed onto tau-null background, these mice had similar tangle numbers but were protected against neurotoxicity. Therefore, misfolded tau can propagate across neural systems without requisite templated misfolding, but the absence of endogenous tau markedly blunts toxicity. These results show that tau does not strictly classify as a prion protein.
The EMBO Journal 11/2015; DOI:10.15252/embj.201592748 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Detection of focal brain tau deposition during life could greatly facilitate accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), staging and monitoring of disease progression, and development of disease modifying therapies.
We acquired tau positron emission tomography (PET) using (18) F T807 (AV1451), and amyloid-β PET using (11) C Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) in older clinically normal individuals, and symptomatic patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild AD dementia.
We found abnormally high cortical (18) F T807 binding in patients with mild cognitive impairment and AD dementia compared to clinically normal controls. Consistent with the neuropathology literature, the presence of elevated neocortical (18) F T807 binding particularly in the inferior temporal gyrus was associated with clinical impairment. The association of cognitive impairment was stronger with inferior temporal (18) F T807 than with mean cortical (11) C PIB. Regional (18) F T807 was correlated with mean cortical (11) C PiB among both impaired and control subjects.
These findings suggest that (18) F T807 PET could have value as a biomarker that reflects both the progression of AD tauopathy and the emergence of clinical impairment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Annals of Neurology 10/2015; DOI:10.1002/ana.24546 · 9.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tau pathology is known to spread in a hierarchical pattern in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain during disease progression, likely by trans-synaptic tau transfer between neurons. However, the tau species involved in inter-neuron propagation remains unclear. To identify tau species responsible for propagation, we examined uptake and propagation properties of different tau species derived from postmortem cortical extracts and brain interstitial fluid of tau-transgenic mice, as well as human AD cortices. Here we show that PBS-soluble phosphorylated high-molecular-weight (HMW) tau, though very low in abundance, is taken up, axonally transported, and passed on to synaptically connected neurons. Our findings suggest that a rare species of soluble phosphorylated HMW tau is the endogenous form of tau involved in propagation and could be a target for therapeutic intervention and biomarker development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To examine region and substrate-specific autoradiographic and in vitro binding patterns of PET tracer [F-18]-AV-1451 (previously known as T807), tailored to allow in vivo detection of paired helical filament tau-containing lesions, and to determine whether there is off-target binding to other amyloid/non-amyloid proteins. Methods: We applied [F-18]-AV-1451 phosphor screen autoradiography, [F-18]-AV-1451 nuclear emulsion autoradiography and [H-3]-AV-1451 in vitro binding assays to the study of postmortem samples from patients with a definite pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-TDP-43, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple system atrophy, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and elderly controls free of pathology. Results: Our data suggest that AV-1451 strongly binds to tau lesions primarily made of paired helical filaments in Alzheimer's brains e.g. intra and extraneuronal tangles and dystrophic neurites, but does not seem to bind to a significant extent to neuronal and glial inclusions mainly composed of straight tau filaments in non-Alzheimer tauopathy brains or to β-amyloid, α-synuclein or TDP-43-containing lesions. AV-1451 off-target binding to neuromelanin- and melanin-containing cells and, to a lesser extent, to brain hemorrhagic lesions was identified. Interpretation: Our data suggest that AV-1451 holds promise as surrogate marker for the detection of brain tau pathology in the form of tangles and paired helical filament-tau-containing neurites in Alzheimer's brains but also point to its relatively lower affinity for lesions primarily made of straight tau filaments in non-Alzheimer tauopathy cases and to the existence of some AV-1451 off-target binding. These findings provide important insights for interpreting in vivo patterns of [F-18]-AV-1451 retention. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Annals of Neurology 09/2015; DOI:10.1002/ana.24517 · 9.98 Impact Factor
[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; 21(7). DOI:10.1038/nm.3885 · 27.36 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: Background: 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). Methods: After the determination of the global clinical dementia rating, 52 subjects (10 AD, 21 MCI, and 21 normal controls) underwent retinal hemodynamic profiling. Blood column diameter, blood speed, and blood flow were measured in a major temporal retinal vein using retinal laser Doppler flowmetry. In addition, peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was measured using optical coherence tomography. Results: Blood column diameter in AD was narrower than in both MCI (P=.004) and controls (P=.002). However, blood speed in both AD (P=.024) and MCI (P=.005) was lower than in controls. As a result, the differences in blood flow between AD and MCI (P=.036), AD and controls (P<.0001), and MCI and controls (P=.009) were significant. Although there were no differences in RNFL thickness among the groups, blood flow was correlated (P=.047) with superior RNFL thickness in the AD group, but not in the MCI (P=.40) or control (P=.84) groups. Conclusions: Retinal blood flow in MCI is intermediate between what is measured in control subjects and in AD patients. Our findings suggest that blood flow abnormalities may precede the neurodegeneration in AD.
[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) ...