[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tau proteins and amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides are the current recognized cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers used as an aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there is no consensus on their clinical use due to non-qualified cut-off values, probably related to the observed high pre-analytical and analytical variability. Standardized pre-analytical protocols have therefore been proposed. Importantly, these recommend the use of polypropylene collection/sampling tubes while, to date, no broad comparison of these types of tubes has been conducted. In this study, we first compared, as part of a real clinical workflow, the impact of four different collection tubes on the CSF concentration of Aβ peptides (Aβ42, Aβ40) and total (hTau) and phosphorylated (P-Tau181P) tau proteins measured using routine ELISA kits. We then extended this study to 11 polypropylene tubes used by different clinical laboratories, and investigated their plastic polymer composition using differential scanning calorimetry and Fourier Transformed Infrared spectroscopy. Significant concentration variations linked solely to the use of different types of tubes were observed. This was particularly marked for Aβ peptides, with >50% disparity occurring in less than five minutes. Polymer composition analysis revealed that most polypropylene tubes were in fact copolymers with at least polyethylene. There was no clear correlation between tube composition and pre-analytical behavior. Our results show that the use of polypropylene tubes does not guarantee satisfactory pre-analytical behavior. They also point to collection/sampling tubes being a major pre-analytical source of variability that could impact the significance of AD biological diagnosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: α-Synuclein is the major protein associated with Lewy body dementia, Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy. Since α-synuclein is present in the brain in physiological conditions as a presynaptic protein, it is crucial to characterize disease-associated modifications to develop an in vivo biomarker. With the aim to develop antibodies showing high specificity and sensitivity for disease-associated α-synuclein, synthetic peptides containing different amino acid sequences were used for immunization of mice. After generation of α-synuclein aggregates, ELISA and immunoblotting were used to test the specificity of antibodies. Tissue microarray sections originating from different human α-synucleinopathies were used to compare immunostaining with other, commercially available antibodies. Immunization of mice with the peptide TKEGVVHGVATVAE (amino acid 44-57 of α-synuclein) resulted in the generation of a monoclonal antibody (5G4), which was able to bind aggregated α-synuclein preparation in sandwich ELISA or coated on magnetic beads. 5G4 proved to be superior to other antibodies in comparative immunohistochemical studies by revealing more widespread and distinct α-synuclein pathology. Immunoblotting of human brain tissue revealed an additional band seen in dementia with Lewy bodies, whereas the band representing monomeric α-synuclein was very weak or lacking. In summary, the 5G4 antibody is most promising for re-evaluation of archival material and may offer new perspective for the development of in vivo diagnostic assays for detecting disease-associated α-synuclein in body fluids.