[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
Background: The discovery that heterozygous missense mutations in the gene encoding triggering receptor
expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with only the apolipoprotein E
(APOE) ε4 gene allele conferring a higher risk, has led to increased interest in immune biology in the brain. TREM2
is expressed on microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain and has been linked to phagocytotic clearance of
amyloid β (Aβ) plaques. Soluble TREM2 (sTREM2) has previously been measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by
ELISA but in our hands commercial kits have proved unreliable, suggesting that other methods may be required.
We developed a mass spectrometry method using selected reaction monitoring for the presence of a TREM2
peptide, which can be used to quantify levels of sTREM2 in CSF.
Findings: We examined CSF samples from memory clinics in Sweden and the UK. For all samples the following
were available: clinical diagnosis, age, sex, and measurements of the CSF AD biomarkers Aβ42, T-tau and P-tau181.
AD patients (n = 37) all met biomarker (IWG2) criteria for AD. Control individuals (n = 22) were cognitively normal
without evidence for AD in CSF. We found significantly higher sTREM2 concentration in AD compared to control
CSF. There were significant correlations between CSF sTREM2 and T-tau as well as P-tau181. CSF sTREM2 increase in
AD was replicated in a second, independent cohort consisting of 24 AD patients and 16 healthy volunteers.
Conclusion: CSF concentrations of sTREM2 are higher in AD than in controls, and correlate with markers of
neurodegeneration. CSF sTREM2 may be used to quantify glial activation in AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, Microglia, Cerebrospinal fluid, TREM2
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Molecular Neurodegeneration
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Selective vulnerability in the nervous system refers to the fact that subpopulations of neurons in different brain systems may be more or less prone to abnormal function or death in response to specific types of pathological states or injury. The concept has been used extensively as a potential way of explaining differences in degeneration patterns and the clinical presentation of different neurodegenerative diseases. Yet the increasing complexity of molecular histopathology at the cellular level in neurodegenerative disorders frequently appears at odds with phenotyping based on clinically-directed, macroscopic regional brain involvement. While cross-disease comparisons can provide insights into the differential vulnerability of networks and neuronal populations, we focus here on what is known about selective vulnerability-related factors that might explain the differential phenotypic expressions of the same disease-in this case, typical and atypical forms of Alzheimer's disease. Whereas considerable progress has been made in this area, much is yet to be elucidated; further studies comparing different phenotypic variants aimed at identifying both vulnerability and resilience factors may provide valuable insights into disease pathogenesis, and suggest novel targets for therapy.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant brain iron deposition is observed in both common and rare neurodegenerative disorders, including those categorized as Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA), which are characterized by focal iron accumulation in the basal ganglia. Two NBIA genes are directly involved in iron metabolism, but whether other NBIA-related genes also regulate iron homeostasis in the human brain, and whether aberrant iron deposition contributes to neurodegenerative processes remains largely unknown. This study aims to expand our understanding of these iron overload diseases and identify relationships between known NBIA genes and their main interacting partners by using a systems biology approach. We used whole-transcriptome gene expression data from human brain samples originating from 101 neuropathologically normal individuals (10 brain regions) to generate weighted gene co-expression networks and cluster the 10 known NBIA genes in an unsupervised manner. We investigated NBIA-enriched networks for relevant cell types and pathways, and whether they are disrupted by iron loading in NBIA diseased tissue and in an in vivo mouse model. We identified two basal ganglia gene co-expression modules significantly enriched for NBIA genes, which resemble neuronal and oligodendrocytic signatures. These NBIA gene networks are enriched for iron-related genes, and implicate synapse and lipid metabolism related pathways. Our data also indicates that these networks are disrupted by excessive brain iron loading. We identified multiple cell types in the origin of NBIA disorders. We also found unforeseen links between NBIA networks and iron-related processes, and demonstrate convergent pathways connecting NBIAs and phenotypically overlapping diseases. Our results are of further relevance for these diseases by providing candidates for new causative genes and possible points for therapeutic intervention.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Neurobiology of Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Currently there are no effective treatments for many neurodegenerative diseases. Reliable biomarkers for identifying and stratifying these diseases will be important in the development of future novel therapies. Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is considered an under diagnosed form of dementia for which markers are needed to discriminate LBD from other forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This work describes a Label-Free proteomic profiling analysis of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from non-neurodegenerative controls and patients with LBD. Using this technology we identified several potential novel markers for LBD. These were then combined with other biomarkers from previously published studies, to create a 10 min multiplexed targeted and translational MRM-LC-MS/MS assay. This test was used to validate our new assay in a larger cohort of samples including controls and the other neurodegenerative conditions of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Thirty eight proteins showed significantly (p < 0.05) altered expression in LBD CSF by proteomic profiling. The targeted MRM-LC-MS/MS assay revealed 4 proteins that were specific for the identification of AD from LBD: ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 (p < 0.0001), lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (p < 0.0001), pro-orexin (p < 0.0017) and transthyretin (p < 0.0001). Nineteen proteins were elevated significantly in both AD and LBD versus the control group of which 4 proteins are novel (malate dehydrogenase 1, serum amyloid A4, GM 2− activator protein, and prosaposin). Protein-DJ1 was only elevated significantly in the PD group and not in either LBD or AD samples. Correlations with Alzheimer-associated amyloid β-42 levels, determined by ELISA, were observed for transthyretin, GM2 activator protein and IGF2 in the AD disease group (r 2 ≥ 0.39, p ≤ 0.012). Cystatin C, ubiquitin and osteopontin showed a strong significant linear relationship (r 2 ≥ 0.4, p ≤ 0.03) with phosphorylated–tau levels in all groups, whilst malate dehydrogenase and apolipoprotein E demonstrated a linear relationship with phosphorylated-tau and total-tau levels in only AD and LBD disease groups.
Using proteomics we have identified several potential and novel markers of neurodegeneration and subsequently validated them using a rapid, multiplexed mass spectral test. This targeted proteomic platform can measure common markers of neurodegeneration that correlate with existing diagnostic makers as well as some that have potential to show changes between AD from LBD.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Molecular Neurodegeneration
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We and others have described the neurodegenerative disorder caused by G51D SNCA mutation which shares characteristics of Parkinson's disease (PD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA). The objective of this investigation was to extend the description of the clinical and neuropathological hallmarks of G51D mutant SNCA-associated disease by the study of two additional cases from a further G51D SNCA kindred and to compare the features of this group with a SNCA duplication case and a H50Q SNCA mutation case.
All three G51D patients were clinically characterised by parkinsonism, dementia, visual hallucinations, autonomic dysfunction and pyramidal signs with variable age at disease onset and levodopa response. The H50Q SNCA mutation case had a clinical picture that mimicked late-onset idiopathic PD with a good and sustained levodopa response. The SNCA duplication case presented with a clinical phenotype of frontotemporal dementia with marked behavioural changes, pyramidal signs, postural hypotension and transiently levodopa responsive parkinsonism. Detailed post-mortem neuropathological analysis was performed in all cases. All three G51D cases had abundant α-synuclein pathology with characteristics of both PD and MSA. These included widespread cortical and subcortical neuronal α-synuclein inclusions together with small numbers of inclusions resembling glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) in oligodendrocytes. In contrast the H50Q and SNCA duplication cases, had α-synuclein pathology resembling idiopathic PD without GCIs. Phosphorylated α-synuclein was present in all inclusions types in G51D cases but was more restricted in SNCA duplication and H50Q mutation. Inclusions were also immunoreactive for the 5G4 antibody indicating their highly aggregated and likely fibrillar state.
Our characterisation of the clinical and neuropathological features of the present small series of G51D SNCA mutation cases should aid the recognition of this clinico-pathological entity. The neuropathological features of these cases consistently share characteristics of PD and MSA and are distinct from PD patients carrying the H50Q or SNCA duplication.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Molecular Neurodegeneration
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Mutations in the thanatos-associated protein domain containing apoptosis-associated protein 1 gene (THAP1) are responsible for adult-onset isolated dystonia (DYT6). However, no neuropathological studies of genetically proven DYT6 cases have been previously reported.
We report the first detailed neuropathological investigation carried out on two DYT6 brains.
Genetic screening for THAP1 gene mutations using standard Sanger polymerase chain reaction sequencing identified 2 cases, 1 with a known pathogenic mutation and the other with a novel mutation. A detailed neuropathological assessment of the cases was performed.
Both DYT6 cases showed no significant neurodegeneration and no specific disease-related pathology.
No neuropathological features that could be defined as hallmark features of DYT6 dystonia were identified. Our study supports the notion that in isolated dystonia, there is no significant neurodegeneration or morphological lesions that can be identified using routine methods.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurodegenerative Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The similarities between Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and both Parkinson’s (PD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are many and range from clinical presentation, to neuropathological characteristics, to more recently identified, genetic determinants of risk. Because of these overlapping features, diagnosing DLB is challenging and has clinical implications since some therapeutic agents that are applicable in other diseases have adverse effects in DLB. Having shown that DLB shares some genetic risk with PD and AD, we have now quantified the amount of sharing through the application of genetic correlation estimates, and show that, from a purely genetic perspective, and excluding the strong association at the APOE locus, DLB is equally correlated to AD and PD.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurobiology of Aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date, a large spectrum of genetic variants has been related to familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD) in diverse populations worldwide. However, very little is known about the genetic landscape of PD in Southern Spain, despite its particular genetic landscape coming from multiple historical migrations. We included 134 PD patients in this study, of which 97 individuals were diagnosed with late-onset sporadic PD (LOPD), 28 with early-onset sporadic PD (EOPD), and 9 with familial PD (FPD). Genetic analysis was performed through a next-generation sequencing panel to screen 8 PD-related genes (LRRK2, SNCA, PARKIN, PINK1, DJ-1, VPS35, GBA, and GCH1) in EOPD and FPD groups and direct Sanger sequencing of GBA exons 8-11 and LRRK2 exons 31 and 41 in the LOPD group. In the EOPD and FPD groups, we identified 11 known pathogenic mutations among 15 patients (40.5 %). GBA (E326K, N370S, D409H, L444P) mutations were identified in 7 patients (18.9 %); LRRK2 (p.R1441G and p.G2019S) in 3 patients (8.1 %); biallelic PARK2 mutations (p.N52fs, p.V56E, p.C212Y) in 4 cases (10.8%) and PINK1 homozygous p.G309D in 1 patient (2.7 %). An EOPD patient carried a single PARK2 heterozygous mutation (p.R402C), and another had a novel heterozygous mutation in VPS35 (p.R32S), both of unknown significance. Moreover, pathogenic mutations in GBA (E326K, T369M, N370S, D409H, L444P) and LRRK2 (p.R1441G and p.G2019S) were identified in 13 patients (13.4 %) and 4 patients (4.1 %), respectively, in the LOPD group. A large number of known pathogenic mutations related to PD have been identified. In particular, GBA and LRRK2 mutations appear to be considerably frequent in our population, suggesting a strong Jewish influence. Further research is needed to study the contribution of the novel found mutation p.R32S in VPS35 to the pathogenesis of PD.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Neurobiology of aging
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammation is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and microglia, the brain's resident phagocyte, are pivotal for the immune response observed in AD. Microglia act as sentinel and protective cells, but may become inappropriately reactive in AD to drive neuropathology. Recent Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have identified more than 20 gene variants associated with an increased risk of late-onset AD (LOAD), the most prevalent form of AD . The findings strongly implicate genes related to the immune response (CR1, CD33, MS4A, CLU, ABCA7, EPHA1 and HLA-DRB5-HLA-DRB1), endocytosis (BIN1, PICALM, CD2AP, EPHA1 and SORL1) and lipid biology (CLU, ABCA7 and SORL1) [2-8], and many encode proteins which are highly expressed in microglia . Furthermore, recent identification of a low frequency mutation in the gene encoding the triggering receptor expressed in myeloid cells 2 protein (TREM2) confers increased risk of AD in LOAD cohorts with an effect size similar to that for APOE, until recently the only identified genetic risk factor associated with LOAD [9,10(••)] (Figure 1). The present review summarises our current understanding of the probable roles of microglial genes in the regulation of neuroinflammatory processes in AD and their relation to other processes affecting the disease's progression.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Current opinion in neurobiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of subjects at high risk for Alzheimer's disease is important for prognosis and early intervention. We investigated the polygenic architecture of Alzheimer's disease and the accuracy of Alzheimer's disease prediction models, including and excluding the polygenic component in the model. This study used genotype data from the powerful dataset comprising 17 008 cases and 37 154 controls obtained from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP). Polygenic score analysis tested whether the alleles identified to associate with disease in one sample set were significantly enriched in the cases relative to the controls in an independent sample. The disease prediction accuracy was investigated in a subset of the IGAP data, a sample of 3049 cases and 1554 controls (for whom APOE genotype data were available) by means of sensitivity, specificity, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and positive and negative predictive values. We observed significant evidence for a polygenic component enriched in Alzheimer's disease (P = 4.9 × 10(-26)). This enrichment remained significant after APOE and other genome-wide associated regions were excluded (P = 3.4 × 10(-19)). The best prediction accuracy AUC = 78.2% (95% confidence interval 77-80%) was achieved by a logistic regression model with APOE, the polygenic score, sex and age as predictors. In conclusion, Alzheimer's disease has a significant polygenic component, which has predictive utility for Alzheimer's disease risk and could be a valuable research tool complementing experimental designs, including preventative clinical trials, stem cell selection and high/low risk clinical studies. In modelling a range of sample disease prevalences, we found that polygenic scores almost doubles case prediction from chance with increased prediction at polygenic extremes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
There is wide variation in the phenotypic expression of Parkinson's disease (PD), which is driven by both genetic and epidemiological influences.
To define and explain variation in the clinical phenotype of PD, in relation to genotypic variation.
Tracking Parkinson's is a multicentre prospective longitudinal epidemiologic and biomarker study of PD. Patients attending specialist clinics in the United Kingdom with recent onset (<3.5 years) and young onset (diagnosed <50 years of age) PD were enrolled. Motor, non-motor and quality of life assessments were performed using validated scales. Cases are followed up 6 monthly up to 4.5 years for recent onset PD, and up to 1 year for young onset PD. We present here baseline clinical data from this large and demographically representative cohort.
2247 PD cases were recruited (1987 recent onset, 260 young onset). Recent onset cases had a mean (standard deviation, SD) age of 67.6 years (9.3) at study entry, 65.7% males, with disease duration 1.3 years (0.9), MDS-UPDRS 3 scores 22.9 (12.3), LEDD 295 mg/day (211) and PDQ-8 score 5.9 (4.8). Young onset cases were 53.5 years old (7.8) at study entry, 66.9% male, with disease duration 10.2 years (6.7), MDS-UPDRS 3 scores 27.4 (15.3), LEDD 926 mg/day (567) and PDQ-8 score 11.6 (6.1).
We have established a large clinical PD cohort, consisting of young onset and recent onset cases, which is designed to evaluate variation in clinical expression, in relation to genetic influences, and which offers a platform for future imaging and biomarker research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The orphan G protein (heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR) GPR3 regulates activity of the γ-secretase complex in the absence of an effect on Notch proteolysis, providing a potential therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, given the vast resources required to develop and evaluate any new therapy for AD and the multiple failures involved in translational research, demonstration of the pathophysiological relevance of research findings in multiple disease-relevant models is necessary before initiating costly drug development programs. We evaluated the physiological consequences of loss of Gpr3 in four AD transgenic mouse models, including two that contain the humanized murine Aβ sequence and express similar amyloid precursor protein (APP) levels as wild-typemice, thereby reducing potential artificial phenotypes. Our findings reveal that genetic deletion of Gpr3 reduced amyloid pathology in all of the AD mouse models and alleviated cognitive deficits in APP/PS1 mice. Additional three-dimensional visualization and analysis of the amyloid plaque burden provided accurate information on the amyloid load, distribution, and volume in the structurally intact adult mouse brain. Analysis of 10 different regions in healthy human postmortem brain tissue indicated that GPR3 expressionwas stable during aging. However, two cohorts of human AD postmortem brain tissue samples showed a correlation between elevated GPR3 and AD progression. Collectively, these studies provide evidence that GPR3mediates the amyloidogenic proteolysis of APP in four AD transgenic mouse models as well as the physiological processing of APP in wild-type mice, suggesting that GPR3 may be a potential therapeutic target for AD drug development.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Science translational medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Down syndrome, which arises in individuals carrying an extra copy of chromosome 21, is associated with a greatly increased risk of early-onset Alzheimer disease. It is thought that this risk is conferred by the presence of three copies of the gene encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP) - an Alzheimer disease risk factor - although the possession of extra copies of other chromosome 21 genes may also play a part. Further study of the mechanisms underlying the development of Alzheimer disease in people with Down syndrome could provide insights into the mechanisms that cause dementia in the general population.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Nature Reviews Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective
Dementia with Lewy bodies is an α-synucleinopathy characterized by neocortical Lewy-related pathology (LRP). We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on neocortical LRP in a population-based sample of subjects aged 85 or over.MethodsLRP was analyzed in 304 subjects in the Vantaa 85+ sample from Southern Finland. The GWAS included 41 cases with midbrain, hippocampal, and neocortical LRP and 177 controls without midbrain and hippocampal LRP. The Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (CFAS) material was used for replication (51 cases and 131 controls).ResultsBy analyzing 327,010 markers the top signal was obtained at the HLA-DPA1/DPB1 locus (P = 1.29 × 10−7); five other loci on chromosomes 15q14, 2p21, 2q31, 18p11, and 5q23 were associated with neocortical LRP at P < 10−5. Two loci were marked by multiple markers, 2p21 (P = 3.9 × 10−6, upstream of the SPTBN1 gene), and HLA-DPA1/DPB1; these were tested in the CFAS material. Single marker (P = 0.0035) and haplotype (P = 0.04) associations on 2p21 were replicated in CFAS, whereas HLA-DPA1/DPB1 association was not. Bioinformatic analyses suggest functional effects for the HLA-DPA1/DPB1 markers as well as the 15q14 marker rs8037309.InterpretationWe identified suggestive novel risk factors for neocortical LRP. SPTBN1 is the candidate on 2p21, it encodes beta-spectrin, an α-synuclein binding protein and a component of Lewy bodies. The HLA-DPA1/DPB1 association suggests a role for antigen presentation or alternatively, cis-regulatory effects, one of the regulated neighboring genes identified here (vacuolar protein sorting 52) plays a role in vesicular trafficking and has been shown to interact with α-synuclein in a yeast model.