[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a new family with autosomal dominant inheritance of a late onset rapidly progressive leukodystrophy in which exome sequencing has revealed a novel mutation p.R782G in the Colony-Stimulating Factor 1 Receptor gene (CSF1R). Neuropathology of two affected family members showed cerebral white matter degeneration with axonal swellings and pigmented macrophages. The few recently reported families with CSF1R mutations had been previously labelled "hereditary diffuse leukencephalopathy with axonal spheroids" (HDLS) and "pigmentary orthochromatic leukodystrophy" (POLD), disorders which now appear to form a disease continuum. The term "adult-onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and pigmented glia" (ALSP) has been proposed to encompass this spectrum. As CSF1R regulates microglia this mutation implies that dysregulation of microglia is the primary cause of the disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid and effective clearance of cell-free haemoglobin after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is important to prevent vasospasm and neurotoxicity and improve long-term outcome. Haemoglobin is avidly bound by haptoglobin, and the complex is cleared by CD163 expressed on the membrane surface of macrophages. We studied the kinetics of haemoglobin and haptoglobin in cerebrospinal fluid after SAH. We show that haemoglobin levels rise gradually after SAH. Haptoglobin levels rise acutely with aneurysmal rupture as a result of injection of blood into the subarachnoid space. Although levels decline as haemoglobin scavenging occurs, complete depletion of haptoglobin does not occur and levels start rising again, indicating saturation of CD163 sites available for haptoglobin-haemoglobin clearance. In a preliminary neuropathological study we demonstrate that meningeal CD163 expression is upregulated after SAH, in keeping with a proinflammatory state. However, loss of CD163 occurs in meningeal areas with overlying blood compared with areas without overlying blood. Becauses ADAM17 is the enzyme responsible for shedding membrane-bound CD163, its inhibition may be a potential therapeutic strategy after SAH.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides in the extracellular spaces of the brain as plaques and in the walls of blood vessels as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). Failure of perivascular drainage of Aβ along cerebrovascular basement membranes contributes to the development of CAA. Mid-life hypercholesterolemia is a risk factor for the development of AD. Maternal obesity is associated with the development of obesity, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia in adulthood, suggesting that the risk for AD and CAA may also be influenced by early life environment. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that early life exposure to a high fat diet results in changes to the cerebrovasculature and failure of Aβ clearance from the brain. We also assessed if vascular Aβ deposition is greater in the brains of aged humans with a history of hyperlipidemia, compared to age-matched controls with normal lipidemia. Using a mouse model of maternal obesity, we found that exposure to a high fat diet during gestation and lactation induced changes in multiple components of the neurovascular unit, including a downregulation in collagen IV, fibronectin and apolipoprotein E, an upregulation in markers of astrocytes and perivascular macrophages and altered blood vessel morphology in the brains of adult mice. Sustained high fat diet over the entire lifespan resulted in additional decreases in levels of pericytes and impaired perivascular clearance of Aβ from the brain. In humans, vascular Aβ load was significantly increased in the brains of aged individuals with a history of hypercholesterolemia. These results support a critical role for early dietary influence on the brain vasculature across the lifespan, with consequences for the development of age-related cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
The Journal of Pathology 10/2014; 235(4). DOI:10.1002/path.4468 · 7.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brain tumour stem cells and microglia both promote the growth of astrocytomas, the commonest form of primary brain tumour, with recent emerging evidence that these cell types may interact in glioma models. It is unclear whether microglia and stem cells are associated in human gliomas. To investigate this question, we used the technique of tissue microarrays to perform a correlative study of a large number of tumour samples. We quantified immunostaining of human astrocytic tumour tissue microarrays (86 patients; WHO grade II-IV) for microglia Iba1 and CD68, and stem cell nestin, SOX2 and CD133. Ki67 was used to assess proliferation and GFAP for astrocytic differentiation. Immunoreactivity for both microglial markers and stem cell markers nestin and SOX2 significantly increased with increasing tumour grade. GFAP was higher in low grade astrocytomas. There was a positive correlation between: (i) both microglial markers and nestin and CD133, (ii) nestin and tumour cell proliferation Ki67 and (iii) both microglial markers and Ki67. SOX2 was not associated with microglia or tumour proliferation. To test the clinical relevance, we investigated the putative association of these markers with clinical outcomes. High expression for nestin and Iba1 correlated with significantly shorter survival times, and high expression for nestin, Iba1, CD68 and Ki67 was associated with faster tumour progression on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, nestin, CD133 and Ki67 remained significant predictors of poorer survival, after adjustment for other markers. These results confirm previous in vitro findings, demonstrating their functional relevance as a therapeutic target in humans. This is the first report of a novel correlation between microglia and stem cells that may drive human astrocytic tumour development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aβ immunotherapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD) results in the removal of Aβ plaques and increased cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In current clinical trials, amyloid-related imaging abnormalities (ARIAs), putatively due to exacerbation of CAA, are concerning side effects. We aimed to assess the role of the Aβ transporter apolipoprotein E (apoE) in the exacerbation of CAA and development of CAA-associated vasculopathy after Aβ immunotherapy. 12 Aβ42-immunized AD (iAD; AN1792, Elan Pharmaceuticals) cases were compared with 28 unimmunized AD (cAD) cases. Immunohistochemistry was quantified for Aβ42, apoE, apoE E4 and smooth muscle actin, and CAA-associated vasculopathy was analyzed. Aβ immunotherapy was associated with redistribution of apoE from cortical plaques to cerebral vessel walls, mirroring the altered distribution of Aβ42. Concentric vessel wall splitting was increased threefold in leptomeningeal vessels after immunotherapy (cAD 6.3 vs iAD 20.6 %, P < 0.001), but smooth muscle cell abnormalities did not differ. The findings suggest that apoE is involved in the removal of plaques and transport of Aβ to the cerebral vasculature induced by Aβ immunotherapy. Immunotherapy was not associated with CAA-related vascular smooth muscle damage, but was accompanied by increased splitting of the vessel wall, perhaps reflecting enhanced deposition and subsequent removal of Aβ. ARIA occurring in some current trials of Aβ immunotherapy may reflect an extreme form of these vascular changes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a multifactorial pathology with great interindividual variability in response to injury and outcome. Mitochondria contain their own DNA (mtDNA) with genomic variants that have different physiological and pathological characteristics, including susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Given the central role of mitochondria in the pathophysiology of neurological injury, we hypothesized that its genomic variants may account for the variability in outcome following TBI.
We undertook an analysis of mitochondrial haplogroups in a large, well‐characterized cohort of 1,094 TBI patients. A proportional odds model including age, brain computed tomography characteristics, injury severity, pupillary reactivity, mitochondrial haplogroups, and APOE was applied to Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS) data.
mtDNA had a significant association with 6‐month GOS (p = 0.008). Haplogroup K was significantly associated with favorable outcome (odds ratio = 1.64, 95% confidence interval = 1.08–2.51, p = 0.02). There was also a significant interaction between mitochondrial genome and age (p = 0.002), with a strong protective effect of both haplogroups T (p = 0.015) and K (p = 0.017) with advancing age. We also found a strong interaction between APOE and mitochondrial haplogroups (p = 0.001), indicating a protective effect of haplogroup K in carriers of the APOE ε4 allele.
These findings reveal an interplay between mitochondrial DNA, pathophysiology of TBI, and aging. Haplogroups K and T, which share a common maternal ancestor, are shown as protective in TBI. The data also suggest that the APOE pathways interact with genetically regulated mitochondrial functions in the response to acute injury, as previously reported in Alzheimer disease. Ann Neurol 2014;75:186–195
Annals of Neurology 02/2014; 75(2). DOI:10.1002/ana.24116 · 9.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progress in the development of therapeutic interventions to treat or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease has been hampered by lack of efficacy and unforeseen side effects in human clinical trials. This setback highlights the need for new approaches for pre-clinical testing of possible interventions. Systems modelling is becoming increasingly recognised as a valuable tool for investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in ageing and age-related diseases. However, there is still a lack of awareness of modelling approaches in many areas of biomedical research. We previously developed a stochastic computer model to examine some of the key pathways involved in the aggregation of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and the micro-tubular binding protein tau. Here we show how we extended this model to include the main processes involved in passive and active immunisation against Aβ and then demonstrate the effects of this intervention on soluble Aβ, plaques, phosphorylated tau and tangles. The model predicts that immunisation leads to clearance of plaques but only results in small reductions in levels of soluble Aβ, phosphorylated tau and tangles. The behaviour of this model is supported by neuropathological observations in Alzheimer patients immunised against Aβ. Since, soluble Aβ, phosphorylated tau and tangles more closely correlate with cognitive decline than plaques, our model suggests that immunotherapy against Aβ may not be effective unless it is performed very early in the disease process or combined with other therapies.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e73631. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0073631 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inflammatory processes are important in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and in response to amyloid-β immunotherapy. We investigated the expression of multiple inflammatory markers in the brains of 28 non-immunized patients with Alzheimer's disease and 11 patients with Alzheimer's disease immunized against amyloid-β42 (AN1792): microglial ionized calcium-binding adaptor Iba-1, lysosome marker CD68, macrophage scavenger receptor A, Fcγ receptors I (CD64) and II (CD32); and also immunoglobulin IgG, complement C1q and the T lymphocyte marker CD3 using immunohistochemistry. The data were analysed with regard to amyloid-β and phospho-tau pathology, severity of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and cortical microhaemorrhages. In non-immunized Alzheimer's disease cases, amyloid-β42 correlated inversely with CD32 and Iba-1, whereas phospho-tau correlated directly with all microglial markers, IgG, C1q and the number of T cells. In immunized Alzheimer's disease cases, amyloid-β42 load correlated directly with macrophage scavenger receptor A-positive clusters and inversely with C1q. The severity of cerebral amyloid angiopathy and microhaemorrhages did not relate to any of the analysed markers. Overall, the levels of CD68, macrophage scavenger receptor A, CD64, CD32 and the number of macrophage scavenger receptor A-positive plaque-related clusters were significantly lower in immunized than non-immunized cases, although there was no significant difference in Iba-1 load, number of Iba-1-positive cells, IgG load, C1q load or number of T cells. Our findings indicate that different microglial populations co-exist in the Alzheimer's disease brain, and that the local inflammatory status within the grey matter is importantly linked with tau pathology. After amyloid-β immunization, the microglial functional state is altered in association with reduced amyloid-β and tau pathology. The results suggest that, in the long term, amyloid-β immunotherapy results in downregulation of microglial activation and potentially reduces the inflammation-mediated component of the neurodegeneration of Alzheimer's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical outcome after traumatic brain injury (TBI) is variable and cannot easily be predicted. There is increasing evidence to suggest there may be genetic influences on outcome. Cytokines play an important role in mediating the inflammatory response provoked within the central nervous system after TBI. This study was designed to identify associations between cytokine gene polymorphisms and clinical outcome 6-months after head injury. A prospectively identified cohort of patients (n=1096, age range 0-93, mean age 37) was utilised. Clinical outcome at 6 months was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. In an initial screen of 11 cytokine gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with disease susceptibility or outcome (TNFA -238 and -308, IL6 -174, -572 and -597, IL1A -889, IL1B -31, -511 and +3953 and TGFB -509 and -800) TNFA -308 was identified as having a likely association. The TNFA -308 SNP was further evaluated and a significant association was identified, with 39% of allele 2 carriers having an unfavourable outcome compared with 31% of non-carriers (adjusted OR 1.67, CI 1.19-2.35, p=0.003). These findings are consistent with experimental and clinical data suggesting that neuroinflammation has an impact on clinical outcome after TBI and that TNFα plays an important role in this process.
Journal of neurotrauma 06/2013; 30(20). DOI:10.1089/neu.2012.2792 · 3.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims:
Traumatic brain injury is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. An epidemiological association between head injury and long-term cognitive decline has been described for many years and recent clinical studies have highlighted functional impairment within 12 months of a mild head injury. In addition chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a recently described condition in cases of repetitive head injury. There are shared mechanisms between traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer's disease, and it has been hypothesized that neuroinflammation, in the form of microglial activation, may be a mechanism underlying chronic neurodegenerative processes after traumatic brain injury.
This study assessed the microglial reaction after head injury in a range of ages and survival periods, from <24-h survival through to 47-year survival. Immunohistochemistry for reactive microglia (CD68 and CR3/43) was performed on human autopsy brain tissue and assessed 'blind' by quantitative image analysis. Head injury cases were compared with age matched controls, and within the traumatic brain injury group cases with diffuse traumatic axonal injury were compared with cases without diffuse traumatic axonal injury.
A major finding was a neuroinflammatory response that develops within the first week and persists for several months after traumatic brain injury, but has returned to control levels after several years. In cases with diffuse traumatic axonal injury the microglial reaction is particularly pronounced in the white matter.
These results demonstrate that prolonged microglial activation is a feature of traumatic brain injury, but that the neuroinflammatory response returns to control levels after several years.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Failure of elimination of amyloid-β (Aβ) from the brain and vasculature appears to be a key factor in the etiology of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). In addition to age, possession of an apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is a strong risk factor for the development of sporadic AD. The present study tested the hypothesis that possession of the APOE ε4 allele is associated with disruption of perivascular drainage of Aβ from the brain and with changes in cerebrovascular basement membrane protein levels. Targeted replacement (TR) mice expressing the human APOE3 (TRE3) or APOE4 (TRE4) genes and wildtype mice received intracerebral injections of human Aβ(40). Aβ(40) aggregated in peri-arterial drainage pathways in TRE4 mice, but not in TRE3 or wildtype mice. The number of Aβ deposits was significantly higher in the hippocampi of TRE4 mice than in the TRE3 mice, at both 3- and 16-months of age, suggesting that clearance of Aβ was disrupted in the brains of TRE4 mice. Immunocytochemical and Western blot analysis of vascular basement membrane proteins demonstrated significantly raised levels of collagen IV in 3-month-old TRE4 mice compared with TRE3 and wild type mice. In 16-month-old mice, collagen IV and laminin levels were unchanged between wild type and TRE3 mice, but were lower in TRE4 mice. The results of this study suggest that APOE4 may increase the risk for AD through disruption and impedance of perivascular drainage of soluble Aβ from the brain. This effect may be mediated, in part, by changes in age-related expression of basement membrane proteins in the cerebral vasculature.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e41636. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0041636 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The brain is the only organ in which there is a significant problem with elimination of amyloid β with age, and substantial accumulation of amyloid β in Alzheimer's disease. Here we examine the pathways by which amyloid β is eliminated from the brain and the reasons why elimination fails with age. Lymphatic drainage of interstitial fluid and solutes, such as amyloid β, appears to be along the basement membranes of cerebral capillaries and arteries to cervical lymph nodes. Enzymes, such as neprilysin, that degrade amyloid β, and mechanisms for absorption of amyloid β into the blood are distributed along the lymphatic drainage pathways but they fail with age. As arteries themselves age, transport of amyloid β along perivascular drainage pathways also fails and results in cerebral amyloid angiopathy. We review the results of immunotherapy designed to clear amyloid β from the brain, and we suggest that a clear understanding of how amyloid β is eliminated may result in more effective therapies for Alzheimer's disease.
Neurodegeneration: The Molecular Pathology of Dementia and Movement Disorders, Second Edition, 09/2011: pages 97 - 101; , ISBN: 9781444341256