[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding how midlife risk factors influence age at onset (AAO) of Alzheimer's disease (AD) may provide clues to delay disease expression. Although midlife adiposity predicts increased incidence of AD, it is unclear whether it affects AAO and severity of Alzheimer's neuropathology. Using a prospective population-based cohort, Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), this study aims to examine the relationships between midlife body mass index (BMI) and (1) AAO of AD (2) severity of Alzheimer's neuropathology and (3) fibrillar brain amyloid deposition during aging. We analyzed data on 1394 cognitively normal individuals at baseline (8643 visits; average follow-up interval 13.9 years), among whom 142 participants developed incident AD. In two subsamples of BLSA, 191 participants underwent autopsy and neuropathological assessment, and 75 non-demented individuals underwent brain amyloid imaging. Midlife adiposity was derived from BMI data at 50 years of age. We find that each unit increase in midlife BMI predicts earlier onset of AD by 6.7 months (P=0.013). Higher midlife BMI was associated with greater Braak neurofibrillary but not CERAD (Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease) neuritic plaque scores at autopsy overall. Associations between midlife BMI and brain amyloid burden approached statistical significance. Thus, higher midlife BMI was also associated with greater fibrillar amyloid measured by global mean cortical distribution volume ratio (P=0.075) and within the precuneus (left, P=0.061; right, P=0.079). In conclusion, midlife overweight predicts earlier onset of AD and greater burden of Alzheimer's neuropathology. A healthy BMI at midlife may delay the onset of AD.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 1 September 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.129.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this exploratory neuroimaging-proteomic study, we aimed to identify CSF proteins associated with AD and test their prognostic ability for disease classification and MCI to AD conversion prediction. Our study sample consisted of 295 subjects with CSF multi-analyte panel data and MRI at baseline downloaded from ADNI. Firstly, we tested the statistical effects of CSF proteins (n = 83) to measures of brain atrophy, CSF biomarkers, ApoE genotype and cognitive decline. We found that several proteins (primarily CgA and FABP) were related to either brain atrophy or CSF biomarkers. In relation to ApoE genotype, a unique biochemical profile characterised by low CSF levels of Apo E was evident in ε4 carriers compared to ε3 carriers. In an exploratory analysis, 3/83 proteins (SGOT, MCP-1, IL6r) were also found to be mildly associated with cognitive decline in MCI subjects over a 4-year period. Future studies are warranted to establish the validity of these proteins as prognostic factors for cognitive decline. For disease classification, a subset of proteins (n = 24) combined with MRI measurements and CSF biomarkers achieved an accuracy of 95.1% (Sensitivity 87.7%; Specificity 94.3%; AUC 0.95) and accurately detected 94.1% of MCI subjects progressing to AD at 12 months. The subset of proteins included FABP, CgA, MMP-2, and PPP as strong predictors in the model. Our findings suggest that the marker of panel of proteins identified here may be important candidates for improving the earlier detection of AD. Further targeted proteomic and longitudinal studies would be required to validate these findings with more generalisability.
PLoS ONE 08/2015; 10(8):e0134368. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0134368 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unbiased metabolomic analysis of biological samples is a powerful and increasingly commonly utilised tool, especially for the analysis of bio-fluids to identify candidate biomarkers. To date however only a small number of metabolomic studies have been applied to studying the metabolite composition of tissue samples, this is due, in part to a number of technical challenges including scarcity of material and difficulty in extracting metabolites. The aim of this study was to develop a method for maximising the biological information obtained from small tissue samples by optimising sample preparation, LC-MS analysis and metabolite identification. Here we describe an in-vial dual extraction (IVDE) method, with reversed phase and hydrophilic liquid interaction chromatography (HILIC) which reproducibly measured over 4,000 metabolite features from as little as 3mg of brain tissue. The aqueous phase was analysed in positive and negative modes following HILIC separation in which 2,838 metabolite features were consistently measured including amino acids, sugars and purine bases. The non-aqueous phase was also analysed in positive and negative modes following reversed phase separation gradients respectively from which 1,183 metabolite features were consistently measured representing metabolites such as phosphatidylcholines, sphingolipids and triacylglycerides. The described metabolomics method includes a database for 200 metabolites, retention time, mass and relative intensity, and presents the basal metabolite composition for brain tissue in the healthy rat cerebellum.
PLoS ONE 03/2015; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0122883 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence indicates that U1-70K and other U1 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) are sarkosyl-insoluble and associate with tau neurofibrillary tangles selectively in Alzheimer disease (AD). Currently, the mechanisms underlying the conversion of soluble nuclear U1 snRNPs into insoluble cytoplasmic aggregates remain elusive. Based on the biochemical and subcellular distribution properties of U1-70K in AD we hypothesized that aggregated U1-70K itself or other biopolymers (e.g. proteins or nucleic acids) interact with and sequester natively folded soluble U1-70K into insoluble aggregates. Here we demonstrate that total homogenates from AD brain induce soluble U1-70K from control brain or recombinant U1-70K to become sarkosyl-insoluble. This effect was not dependent on RNA, and did not correlate with detergent-insoluble tau levels as AD homogenates with reduced levels of these components were still capable of inducing U1-70K aggregation. In contrast, proteinase K-treated AD homogenates and sarkosyl-soluble AD fractions were unable to induce U1-70K aggregation, indicating that aggregated proteins in AD brain are responsible for inducing soluble U1-70K aggregation. It was determined that the C-terminus of U1-70K, that harbors two disordered low-complexity (LC) domains, is necessary for U1-70K aggregation. Moreover, both LC1 and LC2 domains were sufficient for aggregation. Finally, protein cross-linking and mass spectrometry studies demonstrated that a U1-70K fragment harboring the LC1 domain directly interacts with aggregated U1-70K in AD brain. Our results support a hypothesis that aberrant forms of U1-70K in AD can directly sequester soluble forms of U1-70K into insoluble aggregates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although overweight and obesity are associated with poor health outcomes in the elderly, the biological bases of obesity-related behaviors during aging are poorly understood. Common variants in the FTO gene are associated with adiposity in children and younger adults as well as with adverse mental health in older individuals. However, it is unclear whether FTO influences longitudinal trajectories of adiposity and other intermediate phenotypes relevant to mental health during aging. We examined whether a commonly carried obesity-risk variant in the FTO gene (rs1421085 single-nucleotide polymorphism) influences adiposity and is associated with changes in brain function in participants within the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, one of the longest-running longitudinal aging studies in the United States. Our results show that obesity-related risk allele carriers of FTO gene show dose-dependent increments in body mass index during aging. Moreover, the obesity-related risk allele is associated with reduced medial prefrontal cortical function during aging. Consistent with reduced brain function in regions intrinsic to impulse control and taste responsiveness, risk allele carriers of FTO exhibit dose-dependent increments in both impulsivity and intake of fatty foods. We propose that a common neural mechanism may underlie obesity-associated impulsivity and increased consumption of high-calorie foods during aging.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 27 May 2014; doi:10.1038/mp.2014.49.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently identified U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) tangle-like aggregates and RNA splicing abnormalities in sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). However little is known about snRNP biology in early onset AD due to autosomal dominant genetic mutations or trisomy 21 in Down syndrome. Therefore we investigated snRNP biochemical and pathologic features in these disorders.
We performed quantitative proteomics and immunohistochemistry in postmortem brain from genetic AD cases. Electron microscopy was used to characterize ultrastructural features of pathologic aggregates. U1-70k and other snRNPs were biochemically enriched in the insoluble fraction of human brain from subjects with presenilin 1 (PS1) mutations. Aggregates of U1 snRNP-immunoreactivity formed cytoplasmic tangle-like structures in cortex of AD subjects with PS1 and amyloid precursor protein (APP) mutations as well as trisomy 21. Ultrastructural analysis with electron microscopy in an APP mutation case demonstrated snRNP immunogold labeling of paired helical filaments (PHF).
These studies identify U1 snRNP pathologic changes in brain of early onset genetic forms of AD. Since dominant genetic mutations and trisomy 21 result in dysfunctional amyloid processing, the findings suggest that aberrant beta-amyloid processing may influence U1 snRNP aggregate formation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine produced by immune cells and other cell types such as microglia throughout the brain. Higher levels of IL-6 in older adults have been cross-sectionally and longitudinally associated with physical and cognitive impairment, as well as increased dementia risk. The association between IL-6 levels and structural and functional brain changes is less clear. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between IL-6 concentrations and cortical thinning with aging. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging were analyzed for 121 older subjects (M = 69.3; SD = 7.3; range = 56.1–85.9 yrs) who were repeatedly tested over an average period of 7.5 yrs, and who remained non-demented for the entire follow-up period. The Freesurfer longitudinal processing stream was utilized for image processing, and IL-6 measures were based on serum ELISA assays averaged across time points. Results showed that higher mean IL-6 concentrations were associated with accelerated annual rates of cortical thinning in the inferior temporal poles bilaterally. Additional pronounced regions of IL-6 -accelerated thinning included the transverse frontopolar gyri within the left hemisphere, and subcentral gyrus and sulcus within the right hemisphere. Our results indicate that sustained high levels of the inflammatory biomarker IL-6 are associated with regionally increased rates of age-related cortical thinning. These data build on previous findings that link IL-6 to chronic disease and demonstrate one mechanism through which high levels of inflammation may have adverse effects on physical and cognitive function.