Staging TDP-43 pathology in Alzheimer’s disease

Division of Behavioral Neurology, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA, .
Acta Neuropathologica (Impact Factor: 10.76). 11/2013; 127(3). DOI: 10.1007/s00401-013-1211-9
Source: PubMed


TDP-43 immunoreactivity occurs in 19-57 % of Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases. Two patterns of TDP-43 deposition in AD have been described involving hippocampus (limbic) or hippocampus and neocortex (diffuse), although focal amygdala involvement has been observed. In 195 AD cases with TDP-43, we investigated regional TDP-43 immunoreactivity with the aim of developing a TDP-43 in AD staging scheme. TDP-43 immunoreactivity was assessed in amygdala, entorhinal cortex, subiculum, hippocampal dentate gyrus, occipitotemporal, inferior temporal and frontal cortices, and basal ganglia. Clinical, neuroimaging, genetic and pathological characteristics were assessed across stages. Five stages were identified: stage I showed scant-sparse TDP-43 in the amygdala only (17 %); stage II showed moderate-frequent amygdala TDP-43 with spread into entorhinal and subiculum (25 %); stage III showed further spread into dentate gyrus and occipitotemporal cortex (31 %); stage IV showed further spread into inferior temporal cortex (20 %); and stage V showed involvement of frontal cortex and basal ganglia (7 %). Cognition and medial temporal volumes differed across all stages and progression across stages correlated with worsening cognition and medial temporal volume loss. Compared to 147 AD patients without TDP-43, only the Boston Naming Test showed abnormalities in stage I. The findings demonstrate that TDP-43 deposition in AD progresses in a stereotypic manner that can be divided into five distinct topographic stages which are supported by correlations with clinical and neuroimaging features. Given these findings, we recommend sequential regional TDP-43 screening in AD beginning with the amygdala.

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Available from: Melissa Erin Murray
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    • "The ability to trace these pathways noninvasively in the human brain using DTT may provide information about the course, anatomical connectivity, possible disruption or integrity of neural pathways and may be helpful for preoperative planning in the neurosurgical approach. For example, decreased functional connectivity of limbic regions (amygdala, hippocampus) has been shown in several conditions associated with neurocognitive deficits such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, seizure disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients (Josephs et al. 2014; Bouchard et al. 2008; Göttlich et al. 2014). The ability to trace and measure these connections individually may be helpful in the early diagnosis of the pathology in near future. "
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    ABSTRACT: The amygdala is known to have a role in core processes regulated by the limbic system such as motivation, memory, emotion, social behavior, self-awareness as well as certain primitive instincts. Several functional studies have investigated some of these brain tasks of the human limbic system. However, the underlying neuronal fiber connectivity of the amygdalo-diencephalon, as part of the limbic system, has not been delineated separately by prior diffusion-weighted imaging studies. The ability to trace the underlying fiber connections individually will be helpful in understanding the neurophysiology of these tracts in different functions. To date, few diffusion-weighted studies have focused on the amygdala, yet the fine connections of the amygdala, hypothalamus, septum or other adjacent limbic structures have yet to be elucidated by diffusion-weighted tractography studies. We therefore aimed to further investigate these fine neuronal connections using fiber tractography and high spatial resolution diffusion tensor imaging on 3T on 15 healthy right-handed male human subjects (age range 24-37 years). The ventral amygdalofugal pathway, anterior commissure and stria terminalis are the three main efferent pathways of the amygdala. We delineated the detailed trajectories of the ventral amygdalofugal tract, anterior commissure and their connections bilaterally in 15 normal adult human brains. Using a high-resolution diffusion tensor tractography technique, for the first time, we were able to demonstrate the trajectory of amygdalofugal tract and its connections to the hypothalamic and septal nuclei. We further revealed, for the first time, the close relationship of the amygdalofugal tract and anterior commissure with the fornix, stria terminalis and uncinate fasciculus bilaterally in 15 healthy adult human brains.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Brain Structure and Function
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    • "The selection of brain regions of interest was based on key brain regions routinely sampled for neuropathological assessment that are included in the three TDP-43 topographical staging schemes (Brettschneider et al., 2013, 2014; Josephs et al., 2014a) (Table 1). The following regions were included in the analyses: superior prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 9), motor cortex (precentral gyrus, Brodmann area 4), anterior cingulate cortex (just posterior to genu of corpus callosum; Brodmann area 24), inferior temporal cortex (Brodmann area 20), entorhinal cortex, hippocampal dentate gyrus and CA1 region (at coronal level of lateral geniculate nucleus), amygdala, midbrain (including the substantia nigra and red nucleus), pontine tegmentum at the transverse brainstem level of the locus coeruleus , and medulla oblongata at the transverse level of the hypoglossal nucleus. "
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    ABSTRACT: The pathological sequestration of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43, encoded by TARDBP) into cytoplasmic pathological inclusions characterizes the distinct clinical syndromes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, while also co-occurring in a proportion of patients with Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that the regional concentration of TDP-43 pathology has most relevance to specific clinical phenotypes. This has been reflected in the three different pathological staging schemes for TDP-43 pathology in these different clinical syndromes, with none of these staging schemes including a preclinical phase similar to that which has proven beneficial in other neurodegenerative diseases. To apply each of these three staging schemes for TDP-43 pathology, the clinical phenotype must be known undermining the potential predictive value of the pathological examination. The present study set out to test whether a more unified approach could accurately predict clinical phenotypes based solely on the regional presence and severity of TDP-43 pathology. The selection of brain regions of interest was based on key regions routinely sampled for neuropathological assessment under current consensus criteria that have also been used in the three TDP-43 staging schemes. The severity of TDP-43 pathology in these regions of interest was assessed in four clinicopathological phenotypes: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 27, 47-78 years, 15 males), behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (n = 15, 49-82 years, seven males), Alzheimer's disease (n = 26, 51-90 years, 11 males) and cognitively normal elderly individuals (n = 17, 80-103 years, nine males). Our results demonstrate that the presence of TDP-43 in the hypoglossal nucleus discriminates patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with an accuracy of 98%. The severity of TDP-43 deposited in the anterior cingulate cortex identifies patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia with an accuracy of 99%. This identification of regional pathology associated with distinct clinical phenotypes suggests key regions on which probabilistic pathological criteria, similar to those currently available for Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, can be developed for TDP-43 proteinopathies. We propose and validate a simplified probabilistic statement that involves grading the presence of TDP-43 in the hypoglossal nucleus and the severity of TDP-43 in the anterior cingulate for the pathological identification of TDP-43 proteinopathy cases with clinical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Brain
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    • "We were unable to include amygdala slides due to study tissue storage protocols. Amygdala TDP-43 positivity has been reported in AD [13] [16] and cognitively normal older adults [22] in the absence of positivity in other areas. We therefore likely underestimated the prevalence of TDP-43 pathology due to a lack of amygdala tissue. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The significance of TDP-43 pathology in relation to aging and dementia in the population is unclear. Objective: We aimed to determine the prevalence of transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDA (TDP-43) neuronal inclusions in a population-based sample, and associations with age group at death (≤90 and >90 years) and clinical dementia status prior to death. Further, we investigate associations between TDP-43 inclusions and other key dementia-related neuropathologies (plaques, tangles, and neuronal loss) within the hippocampus and entorhinal and temporal cortices. Methods: All brain donors within the Cambridge City over-75 s Cohort (CC75C), which is population-based and longitudinally tracked (n = 228), were included. Age at death ranged from 78 to 106 years. TDP-43 neuronal inclusions were assessed in the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and temporal cortex. These data were combined with existing clinical and neuropathological data. Results: TDP-43 neuronal inclusions were present in 27% of the sample, 36% of those with clinical dementia and 18% without dementia. Individuals who died later (>90 years) or with clinical dementia were more likely to show TDP-43 inclusions. Hippocampal and entorhinal TDP-43 inclusions were significantly associated with dementia severity and increasing age, taking into account other neuropathologies. TDP-43 neuronal inclusions appeared to co-localized with severe neuronal loss. Conclusion: Findings indicate that hippocampal and entorhinal TDP-43 inclusions are important substrates of late onset dementia which appear to co-localize with severe neuronal loss, but not with Alzheimer's disease markers of amyloid and tau. This broadens the accepted view of TDP-43 pathology in dementias.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD
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