Publications by authors named "Bernardino Ghetti"

238 Publications

Phenotypic diversity of genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: a histo-molecular-based classification.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna, Ospedale Bellaria, Via Altura 1/8, 40139, Bologna, Italy.

The current classification of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) includes six major clinicopathological subtypes defined by the physicochemical properties of the protease-resistant core of the pathologic prion protein (PrP), defining two major PrP types (i.e., 1 and 2), and the methionine (M)/valine (V) polymorphic codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP). How these sCJD subtypes relate to the well-documented phenotypic heterogeneity of genetic CJD (gCJD) is not fully understood. We analyzed molecular and phenotypic features in 208 individuals affected by gCJD, carrying 17 different mutations, and compared them with those of a large series of sCJD cases. We identified six major groups of gCJD based on the combination PrP type and codon 129 genotype on PRNP mutated allele, each showing distinctive histopathological characteristics, irrespectively of the PRNP associated mutation. Five gCJD groups, named M1, M2C, M2T, V1, and V2, largely reproduced those previously described in sCJD subtypes. The sixth group shared phenotypic traits with the V2 group and was only detected in patients carrying the E200K-129M haplotype in association with a PrP type of intermediate size ("i") between type 1 and type 2. Additional mutation-specific effects involved the pattern of PrP deposition (e.g., a "thickened" synaptic pattern in E200K carriers, cerebellar "stripe-like linear granular deposits" in those with insertion mutations, and intraneuronal globular dots in E200K-V2 or -M"i"). A few isolated cases linked to rare PRNP haplotypes (e.g., T183A-129M), showed atypical phenotypic features, which prevented their classification into the six major groups. The phenotypic variability of gCJD is mostly consistent with that previously found in sCJD. As in sCJD, the codon 129 genotype and physicochemical properties of PrP significantly correlated with the phenotypic variability of gCJD. The most common mutations linked to CJD appear to have a variable and overall less significant effect on the disease phenotype, but they significantly influence disease susceptibility often in a strain-specific manner. The criteria currently used for sCJD subtypes can be expanded and adapted to gCJD to provide an updated classification of the disease with a molecular basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02350-yDOI Listing
July 2021

Comparing amyloid-β plaque burden with antemortem PiB PET in autosomal dominant and late-onset Alzheimer disease.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) radiotracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging can bind to different types of amyloid-β plaques and blood vessels (cerebral amyloid angiopathy). However, the relative contributions of different plaque subtypes (diffuse versus cored/compact) to in vivo PiB PET signal on a region-by-region basis are incompletely understood. Of particular interest is whether the same staging schemes for summarizing amyloid-β burden are appropriate for both late-onset and autosomal dominant forms of Alzheimer disease (LOAD and ADAD). Here, we compared antemortem PiB PET with follow-up postmortem estimation of amyloid-β burden using stereologic methods to estimate the relative area fraction of diffuse and cored/compact amyloid-β plaques across 16 brain regions in 15 individuals with ADAD and 14 individuals with LOAD. In ADAD, we found that PiB PET correlated with diffuse plaques in the frontal, parietal, temporal, and striatal regions commonly used to summarize amyloid-β burden in PiB PET, and correlated with both diffuse and cored/compact plaques in the occipital lobe and parahippocampal gyrus. In LOAD, we found that PiB PET correlated with both diffuse and cored/compact plaques in the anterior cingulate, frontal lobe (middle frontal gyrus), and parietal lobe, and showed additional correlations with diffuse plaque in the amygdala and occipital lobe, and with cored/compact plaque in the temporal lobe. Thus, commonly used PiB PET summary regions predominantly reflect diffuse plaque burden in ADAD and a mixture of diffuse and cored/compact plaque burden in LOAD. In direct comparisons of ADAD and LOAD, postmortem stereology identified much greater mean amyloid-β plaque burdens in ADAD versus LOAD across almost all brain regions studied. However, standard PiB PET did not recapitulate these stereologic findings, likely due to non-trivial amyloid-β plaque burdens in ADAD within the cerebellum and brainstem-commonly used reference regions in PiB PET. Our findings suggest that PiB PET summary regions correlate with amyloid-β plaque burden in both ADAD and LOAD; however, they might not be reliable in direct comparisons of regional amyloid-β plaque burden between the two forms of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02342-yDOI Listing
July 2021

Pattern and degree of individual brain atrophy predicts dementia onset in dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2021 5;13(1):e12197. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

The Florey Institute University of Melbourne Parkville Victoria Australia.

Introduction: Asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease mutation carriers (DIAD-MC) are ideal candidates for preventative treatment trials aimed at delaying or preventing dementia onset. Brain atrophy is an early feature of DIAD-MC and could help predict risk for dementia during trial enrollment.

Methods: We created a dementia risk score by entering standardized gray-matter volumes from 231 DIAD-MC into a logistic regression to classify participants with and without dementia. The score's predictive utility was assessed using Cox models and receiver operating curves on a separate group of 65 DIAD-MC followed longitudinally.

Results: Our risk score separated asymptomatic versus demented DIAD-MC with 96.4% (standard error = 0.02) and predicted conversion to dementia at next visit (hazard ratio = 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI: 1.15, 1.49]) and within 2 years (area under the curve = 90.3%, 95% CI [82.3%-98.2%]) and improved prediction beyond established methods based on familial age of onset.

Discussion: Individualized risk scores based on brain atrophy could be useful for establishing enrollment criteria and stratifying DIAD-MC participants for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8256623PMC
July 2021

Structure of Tau filaments in Prion protein amyloidoses.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 Aug 14;142(2):227-241. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA.

In human neurodegenerative diseases associated with the intracellular aggregation of Tau protein, the ordered cores of Tau filaments adopt distinct folds. Here, we analyze Tau filaments isolated from the brain of individuals affected by Prion-Protein cerebral amyloid angiopathy (PrP-CAA) with a nonsense mutation in the PRNP gene that leads to early termination of translation of PrP (Q160Ter or Q160X), and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease, with a missense mutation in the PRNP gene that leads to an amino acid substitution at residue 198 (F198S) of PrP. The clinical and neuropathologic phenotypes associated with these two mutations in PRNP are different; however, the neuropathologic analyses of these two genetic variants have consistently shown the presence of numerous neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) made of filamentous Tau aggregates in neurons. We report that Tau filaments in PrP-CAA (Q160X) and GSS (F198S) are composed of 3-repeat and 4-repeat Tau isoforms, having a striking similarity to NFTs in Alzheimer disease (AD). In PrP-CAA (Q160X), Tau filaments are made of both paired helical filaments (PHFs) and straight filaments (SFs), while in GSS (F198S), only PHFs were found. Mass spectrometry analyses of Tau filaments extracted from PrP-CAA (Q160X) and GSS (F198S) brains show the presence of post-translational modifications that are comparable to those seen in Tau aggregates from AD. Cryo-EM analysis reveals that the atomic models of the Tau filaments obtained from PrP-CAA (Q160X) and GSS (F198S) are identical to those of the Tau filaments from AD, and are therefore distinct from those of Pick disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and corticobasal degeneration. Our data support the hypothesis that in the presence of extracellular amyloid deposits and regardless of the primary amino acid sequence of the amyloid protein, similar molecular mechanisms are at play in the formation of identical Tau filaments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02336-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8270882PMC
August 2021

Thiophene-Based Optical Ligands That Selectively Detect Aβ Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease.

Chembiochem 2021 Aug 21;22(15):2568-2581. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping, Sweden.

In several neurodegenerative diseases, the presence of aggregates of specific proteins in the brain is a significant pathological hallmark; thus, developing ligands able to bind to the aggregated proteins is essential for any effort related to imaging and therapeutics. Here we report the synthesis of thiophene-based ligands containing nitrogen heterocycles. The ligands selectively recognized amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregates in brain tissue from individuals diagnosed neuropathologically as having Alzheimer's disease (AD). The selectivity for Aβ was dependent on the position of nitrogen in the heterocyclic compounds, and the ability to bind Aβ was shown to be reduced when introducing anionic substituents on the thiophene backbone. Our findings provide the structural and functional basis for the development of ligands that can differentiate between aggregated proteinaceous species comprised of distinct proteins. These ligands might also be powerful tools for studying the pathogenesis of Aβ aggregation and for designing molecules for imaging of Aβ pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbic.202100199DOI Listing
August 2021

Astroglial tracer BU99008 detects multiple binding sites in Alzheimer's disease brain.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Center for Alzheimer Research, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

With reactive astrogliosis being established as one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), there is high interest in developing novel positron emission tomography (PET) tracers to detect early astrocyte reactivity. BU99008, a novel astrocytic PET ligand targeting imidazoline-2 binding sites (IBS) on astrocytes, might be a suitable candidate. Here we demonstrate for the first time that BU99008 could visualise reactive astrogliosis in postmortem AD brains and propose a multiple binding site [Super-high-affinity (SH), High-affinity (HA) and Low-affinity (LA)] model for BU99008, IBS specific ligands (2-BFI and BU224) and deprenyl in AD and control (CN) brains. The proportion (%) and affinities of these sites varied significantly between the BU99008, 2-BFI, BU224 and deprenyl in AD and CN brains. Regional binding studies demonstrated significantly higher H-BU99008 binding in AD brain regions compared to CN. Comparative autoradiography studies reinforced these findings, showing higher specific binding for H-BU99008 than H-Deprenyl in sporadic AD brain compared to CN, implying that they might have different targets. The data clearly shows that BU99008 could detect IBS expressing reactive astrocytes with good selectivity and specificity and hence be a potential attractive clinical astrocytic PET tracer for gaining further insight into the role of reactive astrogliosis in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01101-5DOI Listing
April 2021

Microglial Heterogeneity and Its Potential Role in Driving Phenotypic Diversity of Alzheimer's Disease.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 9;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Neurology 5 and Neuropathology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is increasingly recognized as a highly heterogeneous disorder occurring under distinct clinical and neuropathological phenotypes. Despite the molecular determinants of such variability not being well defined yet, microglial cells may play a key role in this process by releasing distinct pro- and/or anti-inflammatory cytokines, potentially affecting the expression of the disease. We carried out a neuropathological and biochemical analysis on a series of AD brain samples, gathering evidence about the heterogeneous involvement of microglia in AD. The neuropathological studies showed differences concerning morphology, density and distribution of microglial cells among AD brains. Biochemical investigations showed increased brain levels of IL-4, IL-6, IL-13, CCL17, MMP-7 and CXCL13 in AD in comparison with control subjects. The molecular profiling achieved by measuring the brain levels of 25 inflammatory factors known to be involved in neuroinflammation allowed a stratification of the AD patients in three distinct "neuroinflammatory clusters". These findings strengthen the relevance of neuroinflammation in AD pathogenesis suggesting, in particular, that the differential involvement of neuroinflammatory molecules released by microglial cells during the development of the disease may contribute to modulate the characteristics and the severity of the neuropathological changes, driving-at least in part-the AD phenotypic diversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052780DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967159PMC
March 2021

Cryo-EM structures of tau filaments from Alzheimer's disease with PET ligand APN-1607.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 05 16;141(5):697-708. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Tau and Aβ assemblies of Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be visualized in living subjects using positron emission tomography (PET). Tau assemblies comprise paired helical and straight filaments (PHFs and SFs). APN-1607 (PM-PBB3) is a recently described PET ligand for AD and other tau proteinopathies. Since it is not known where in the tau folds PET ligands bind, we used electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine the binding sites of APN-1607 in the Alzheimer fold. We identified two major sites in the β-helix of PHFs and SFs and a third major site in the C-shaped cavity of SFs. In addition, we report that tau filaments from posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and primary age-related tauopathy (PART) are identical to those from AD. In support, fluorescence labelling showed binding of APN-1607 to intraneuronal inclusions in AD, PART and PCA. Knowledge of the binding modes of APN-1607 to tau filaments may lead to the development of new ligands with increased specificity and binding activity. We show that cryo-EM can be used to identify the binding sites of small molecules in amyloid filaments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02294-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043864PMC
May 2021

Genome sequencing analysis identifies new loci associated with Lewy body dementia and provides insights into its genetic architecture.

Nat Genet 2021 03 15;53(3):294-303. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Reta Lila Weston Institute, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

The genetic basis of Lewy body dementia (LBD) is not well understood. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing in large cohorts of LBD cases and neurologically healthy controls to study the genetic architecture of this understudied form of dementia, and to generate a resource for the scientific community. Genome-wide association analysis identified five independent risk loci, whereas genome-wide gene-aggregation tests implicated mutations in the gene GBA. Genetic risk scores demonstrate that LBD shares risk profiles and pathways with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, providing a deeper molecular understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this age-related neurodegenerative condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00785-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946812PMC
March 2021

Longitudinal Accumulation of Cerebral Microhemorrhages in Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Disease.

Neurology 2021 03 25;96(12):e1632-e1645. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

From the Departments of Radiology (N.J.-M., T.M.B., B.A.G., G.C., P.M., R.C.H., T.L.S.B.), Neurology (E.M., J.H., B.M.A., R.J.P., J.C.M., R.J.B.), Psychological and Brain Sciences (J.H.), Psychiatry (C.C., C.M.K.), and Pathology and Immunology (R.J.P.) and Division of Biostatistics (G.W., C.X.), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Banner Alzheimers Institute (Y.S.), Phoenix, AZ; Department of Cognitive Neurology and Neuropsychology (R.F.A.), Instituto de Investigaciones Neurológicas Fleni, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Departments of Neurology and Clinical and Translational Science (S.B.B.), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA; Department of Neurology (A.M.B.), Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimers Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY; Neuroscience Research Australia (W.S.B., P.R.S.); School of Medical Sciences (P.R.S.), University of New South Wales (W.S.B.), Sydney, Australia; Dementia Research Centre and UK Dementia Research Institute (D.M.C., N.C.F., A.O.), UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, UK; Departments of Neurology (J.P.C., K.A.J.) and Radiology (K.A.J.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Department of Neurology (H.C.C., J.M.R.), Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior (S.C., A.K.W.L., S.S.), Memory and Aging Program, Butler Hospital, Brown University Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI; Center for Neuroimaging, Department of Radiology and Imaging Science (M.R.F., A.J.S.), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (B.G.), and Indiana Alzheimers Disease Research Center (A.J.S.), Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Departments of Molecular Imaging and Neurology (M.F.), Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Australia; Department of Neurology (N.R.G.-R.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) (C.L., J.L., I.Y.); Section for Dementia Research, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (C.L.), University of Tübingen; Department of Neurology (J.L., I.Y.), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) (J.L., I.Y.), Germany; Florey Institute and The University of Melbourne (C.L.M.), Australia; Department of Neurology (J.M.N.), Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY; Department of Radiology (K.K., C.R.J., G.M.P.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Department of Molecular Imaging and Therapy (C.C.R., V.L.V.), Austin Health, University of Melbourne, Heidelberg, Australia; Clinical Research Center for Dementia (H.S.), Osaka City University; Department of Neurology (M.S.), Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine; and Department of Neurology (K.S.), The University of Tokyo, Japan.

Objective: To investigate the inherent clinical risks associated with the presence of cerebral microhemorrhages (CMHs) or cerebral microbleeds and characterize individuals at high risk for developing hemorrhagic amyloid-related imaging abnormality (ARIA-H), we longitudinally evaluated families with dominantly inherited Alzheimer disease (DIAD).

Methods: Mutation carriers (n = 310) and noncarriers (n = 201) underwent neuroimaging, including gradient echo MRI sequences to detect CMHs, and neuropsychological and clinical assessments. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses evaluated relationships between CMHs and neuroimaging and clinical markers of disease.

Results: Three percent of noncarriers and 8% of carriers developed CMHs primarily located in lobar areas. Carriers with CMHs were older, had higher diastolic blood pressure and Hachinski ischemic scores, and more clinical, cognitive, and motor impairments than those without CMHs. ε4 status was not associated with the prevalence or incidence of CMHs. Prevalent or incident CMHs predicted faster change in Clinical Dementia Rating although not composite cognitive measure, cortical thickness, hippocampal volume, or white matter lesions. Critically, the presence of 2 or more CMHs was associated with a significant risk for development of additional CMHs over time (8.95 ± 10.04 per year).

Conclusion: Our study highlights factors associated with the development of CMHs in individuals with DIAD. CMHs are a part of the underlying disease process in DIAD and are significantly associated with dementia. This highlights that in participants in treatment trials exposed to drugs, which carry the risk of ARIA-H as a complication, it may be challenging to separate natural incidence of CMHs from drug-related CMHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011542DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8032370PMC
March 2021

Modeling autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease with machine learning.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 06 21;17(6):1005-1016. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Munich, Germany.

Introduction: Machine learning models were used to discover novel disease trajectories for autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease.

Methods: Longitudinal structural magnetic resonance imaging, amyloid positron emission tomography (PET), and fluorodeoxyglucose PET were acquired in 131 mutation carriers and 74 non-carriers from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network; the groups were matched for age, education, sex, and apolipoprotein ε4 (APOE ε4). A deep neural network was trained to predict disease progression for each modality. Relief algorithms identified the strongest predictors of mutation status.

Results: The Relief algorithm identified the caudate, cingulate, and precuneus as the strongest predictors among all modalities. The model yielded accurate results for predicting future Pittsburgh compound B (R  = 0.95), fluorodeoxyglucose (R  = 0.93), and atrophy (R  = 0.95) in mutation carriers compared to non-carriers.

Discussion: Results suggest a sigmoidal trajectory for amyloid, a biphasic response for metabolism, and a gradual decrease in volume, with disease progression primarily in subcortical, middle frontal, and posterior parietal regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8195816PMC
June 2021

Tau Protein and Frontotemporal Dementias.

Adv Exp Med Biol 2021 ;1281:177-199

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Filamentous inclusions of tau protein are found in cases of inherited and sporadic frontotemporal dementias (FTDs). Mutations in MAPT, the tau gene, cause approximately 5% of cases of FTD. They proved that dysfunction of tau protein is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration and dementia. Clinically and pathologically, cases with MAPT mutations can resemble sporadic diseases, such as Pick's disease, globular glial tauopathy, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. The structures of tau filaments from Pick's disease and corticobasal degeneration, determined by electron cryo-microscopy, revealed the presence of specific tau folds in each disease, with no inter-individual variation. The same was true of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51140-1_12DOI Listing
February 2021

Lewy Body Disease is a Contributor to Logopenic Progressive Aphasia Phenotype.

Ann Neurol 2021 03 17;89(3):520-533. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Objective: The objective of this study was to describe clinical features, [ F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) metabolism and digital pathology in patients with logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA) and pathologic diagnosis of diffuse Lewy body disease (DLBD) and compare to patients with LPA with other pathologies, as well as patients with classical features of probable dementia with Lewy bodies (pDLB).

Methods: This is a clinicopathologic case-control study of 45 patients, including 20 prospectively recruited patients with LPA among whom 6 were diagnosed with LPA-DLBD. We analyzed clinical features and compared FDG-PET metabolism in LPA-DLBD to an independent group of patients with clinical pDLB and regional α-synuclein burden on digital pathology to a second independent group of autopsied patients with DLBD pathology and antemortem pDLB (DLB-DLBD).

Results: All patients with LPA-DLBD were men. Neurological, speech, and neuropsychological characteristics were similar across LPA-DLBD, LPA-Alzheimer's disease (LPA-AD), and LPA-frontotemporal lobar degeneration (LPA-FTLD). Genetic screening of AD, DLBD, and FTLD linked genes were negative with the exception of APOE ε4 allele present in 83% of LPA-DLBD patients. Seventy-five percent of the patients with LPA-DLBD showed a parietal-dominant pattern of hy pometabolism; LPA-FTLD - temporal-dominant pattern, whereas LPA-AD showed heterogeneous patterns of hypometabolism. LPA-DLBD had more asymmetrical hypometabolism affecting frontal lobes, with relatively spared occipital lobe in the nondominantly affected hemisphere, compared to pDLB. LPA-DLBD had minimal atrophy on gross brain examination, higher cortical Lewy body counts, and higher α-synuclein burden in the middle frontal and inferior parietal cortices compared to DLB-DLBD.

Interpretation: Whereas AD is the most frequent underlying pathology of LPA, DLBD can also be present and may contribute to the LPA phenotype possibly due to α-synuclein-associated functional impairment of the dominant parietal lobe. ANN NEUROL 2021;89:520-533.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25979DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8040336PMC
March 2021

Cryo-EM structures and functional characterization of homo- and heteropolymers of human ferritin variants.

Sci Rep 2020 11 26;10(1):20666. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Dr., MSB A136, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA.

The role of abnormal brain iron metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases is still insufficiently understood. Here, we investigate the molecular basis of the neurodegenerative disease hereditary ferritinopathy (HF), in which dysregulation of brain iron homeostasis is the primary cause of neurodegeneration. We mutagenized ferritin's three-fold pores (3FPs), i.e. the main entry route for iron, to investigate ferritin's iron management when iron must traverse the protein shell through the disrupted four-fold pores (4FPs) generated by mutations in the ferritin light chain (FtL) gene in HF. We assessed the structure and properties of ferritins using cryo-electron microscopy and a range of functional analyses in vitro. Loss of 3FP function did not alter ferritin structure but led to a decrease in protein solubility and iron storage. Abnormal 4FPs acted as alternate routes for iron entry and exit in the absence of functional 3FPs, further reducing ferritin iron-storage capacity. Importantly, even a small number of MtFtL subunits significantly compromises ferritin solubility and function, providing a rationale for the presence of ferritin aggregates in cell types expressing different levels of FtLs in patients with HF. These findings led us to discuss whether modifying pores could be used as a pharmacological target in HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77717-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692541PMC
November 2020

Correction to: Rapid and ultra-sensitive quantitation of disease-associated α-synuclein seeds in brain and cerebrospinal fluid by αSyn RT-QuIC.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2020 Nov 5;8(1):180. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT, USA.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-020-01052-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643273PMC
November 2020

Single-subject grey matter network trajectories over the disease course of autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease.

Brain Commun 2020 15;2(2):fcaa102. Epub 2020 Jul 15.

Department of Neurology, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, Amsterdam, UMC, VU University, Netherlands.

Structural grey matter covariance networks provide an individual quantification of morphological patterns in the brain. The network integrity is disrupted in sporadic Alzheimer's disease, and network properties show associations with the level of amyloid pathology and cognitive decline. Therefore, these network properties might be disease progression markers. However, it remains unclear when and how grey matter network integrity changes with disease progression. We investigated these questions in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease mutation carriers, whose conserved age at dementia onset allows individual staging based upon their estimated years to symptom onset. From the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network observational cohort, we selected T-weighted MRI scans from 269 mutation carriers and 170 non-carriers (mean age 38 ± 15 years, mean estimated years to symptom onset -9 ± 11), of whom 237 had longitudinal scans with a mean follow-up of 3.0 years. Single-subject grey matter networks were extracted, and we calculated for each individual the network properties which describe the network topology, including the size, clustering, path length and small worldness. We determined at which time point mutation carriers and non-carriers diverged for global and regional grey matter network metrics, both cross-sectionally and for rate of change over time. Based on cross-sectional data, the earliest difference was observed in normalized path length, which was decreased for mutation carriers in the precuneus area at 13 years and on a global level 12 years before estimated symptom onset. Based on longitudinal data, we found the earliest difference between groups on a global level 6 years before symptom onset, with a greater rate of decline of network size for mutation carriers. We further compared grey matter network small worldness with established biomarkers for Alzheimer disease (i.e. amyloid accumulation, cortical thickness, brain metabolism and cognitive function). We found that greater amyloid accumulation at baseline was associated with faster decline of small worldness over time, and decline in grey matter network measures over time was accompanied by decline in brain metabolism, cortical thinning and cognitive decline. In summary, network measures decline in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease, which is alike sporadic Alzheimer's disease, and the properties show decline over time prior to estimated symptom onset. These data suggest that single-subject networks properties obtained from structural MRI scans form an additional non-invasive tool for understanding the substrate of cognitive decline and measuring progression from preclinical to severe clinical stages of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7475695PMC
July 2020

Sequence of Alzheimer disease biomarker changes in cognitively normal adults: A cross-sectional study.

Neurology 2020 12 1;95(23):e3104-e3116. Epub 2020 Sep 1.

From the Division of Public Health Sciences (J.L.), Department of Surgery, Siteman Cancer Center Biostatistics Core (J.L.), Division of Biostatistics (J.L., F.A., E.G., C.X.), Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center (F.A., E.G., A.M.F., T.B., P.M., J.H., R.J.B., J.C.M., R.J.P., C.X.), Department of Neurology (E.M.M., A.M.F., J.H., R.J.B., J.C.M., R.J.P.), Department of Radiology (T.B., P.M.), Department of Pathology (J.C.M., R.J.P.), Department of Immunology (J.C.M., R.J.P.), and Department of Psychiatry (C.C.), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; The Florey Institute (C.L.M.), University of Melbourne, Australia; Department of Neurology (M.S.A.), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute and Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (S.C.J.), University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health; Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (S.C.J.), William S. Middleton Veterans Memorial Hospital, Madison, WI; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (J.V.); Department of Neurology (J.V.), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany; Department of Neurology (J.C.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research (M.J.), University of Tübingen; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (M.J.), Tübingen, Germany; Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (B.G.), Indiana University, Indianapolis; Department of Neurology (N.R.G.-R.), Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; Neuroscience Research Australia (P.R.S.), Randwick; School of Medical Sciences (P.R.S.), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; and Department of Clinical Neuroscience (H.M.), Osaka City University Medical School, Abenoku, Osaka, Japan.

Objective: To determine the ordering of changes in Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarkers among cognitively normal individuals.

Methods: Cross-sectional data, including CSF analytes, molecular imaging of cerebral fibrillar β-amyloid (Aβ) with PET using the [C] benzothiazole tracer Pittsburgh compound B (PiB), MRI-based brain structures, and clinical/cognitive outcomes harmonized from 8 studies, collectively involving 3,284 cognitively normal individuals 18 to 101 years of age, were analyzed. The age at which each marker exhibited an accelerated change (called the change point) was estimated and compared across the markers.

Results: Accelerated changes in CSF Aβ (Aβ) occurred at 48.28 years of age and in Aβ/Aβ ratio at 46.02 years, followed by PiB mean cortical standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) with a change point at 54.47 years. CSF total tau (Tau) and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (Ptau) had a change point at ≈60 years, similar to those for MRI hippocampal volume and cortical thickness. The change point for a cognitive composite occurred at 62.41 years. The change points for CSF Aβ and Aβ/Aβ ratio, albeit not significantly different from that for PiB SUVR, occurred significantly earlier than that for CSF Tau, Ptau, MRI markers, and the cognitive composite. Adjusted analyses confirmed that accelerated changes in CSF Tau, Ptau, MRI markers, and the cognitive composite occurred at ages not significantly different from each other.

Conclusions: Our findings support the hypothesized early changes of amyloid in preclinical AD and suggest that changes in neuronal injury and neurodegeneration markers occur close in time to cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010747DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7734923PMC
December 2020

Relationships between big-five personality factors and Alzheimer's disease pathology in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2020 23;12(1):e12038. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center Department of Neurology Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis Missouri USA.

Introduction: Changes in personality characteristics are associated with the onset of symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may even precede clinical diagnosis. However, personality changes caused by disease progression can be difficult to separate from changes that occur with normal aging. The Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) provides a unique cohort in which to relate measures of personality traits to in vivo markers of disease in a much younger sample than in typical late onset AD.

Methods: Personality traits measured with the International Personality Item Pool at baseline from DIAN participants were analyzed as a function of estimated years to onset of clinical symptoms and well-established AD biomarkers.

Results: Both neuroticism and conscientiousness were correlated with years to symptom onset and markers of tau pathology in the cerebrospinal fluid. Self-reported conscientiousness and both neuroticism and conscientiousness ratings from a collateral source were correlated with longitudinal rates of cognitive decline such that participants who were rated as higher on neuroticism and lower on conscientiousness exhibited accelerated rates of cognitive decline.

Discussion: Personality traits are correlated with the accumulation of AD pathology and time to symptom onset, suggesting that AD progression can influence an individual's personality characteristics. Together these findings suggest that measuring neuroticism and conscientiousness may hold utility in tracking disease progression in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7311802PMC
June 2020

Serum neurofilament light chain levels are associated with white matter integrity in autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiol Dis 2020 08 6;142:104960. Epub 2020 Jun 6.

The Florey Institute, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.

Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a protein that is selectively expressed in neurons. Increased levels of NfL measured in either cerebrospinal fluid or blood is thought to be a biomarker of neuronal damage in neurodegenerative diseases. However, there have been limited investigations relating NfL to the concurrent measures of white matter (WM) decline that it should reflect. White matter damage is a common feature of Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesized that serum levels of NfL would associate with WM lesion volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics cross-sectionally in 117 autosomal dominant mutation carriers (MC) compared to 84 non-carrier (NC) familial controls as well as in a subset (N = 41) of MC with longitudinal NfL and MRI data. In MC, elevated cross-sectional NfL was positively associated with WM hyperintensity lesion volume, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity and negatively with fractional anisotropy. Greater change in NfL levels in MC was associated with larger changes in fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, and radial diffusivity, all indicative of reduced WM integrity. There were no relationships with NfL in NC. Our results demonstrate that blood-based NfL levels reflect WM integrity and supports the view that blood levels of NfL are predictive of WM damage in the brain. This is a critical result in improving the interpretability of NfL as a marker of brain integrity, and for validating this emerging biomarker for future use in clinical and research settings across multiple neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2020.104960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363568PMC
August 2020

Crystal structure of a conformational antibody that binds tau oligomers and inhibits pathological seeding by extracts from donors with Alzheimer's disease.

J Biol Chem 2020 07 3;295(31):10662-10676. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry, UCLA-DOE Institute UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Soluble oligomers of aggregated tau accompany the accumulation of insoluble amyloid fibrils, a histological hallmark of Alzheimer disease (AD) and two dozen related neurodegenerative diseases. Both oligomers and fibrils seed the spread of Tau pathology, and by virtue of their low molecular weight and relative solubility, oligomers may be particularly pernicious seeds. Here, we report the formation of tau oligomers formed by an ionic liquid (IL15). Using IL15-induced recombinant tau oligomers and a dot blot assay, we discovered a mAb (M204) that binds oligomeric tau, but not tau monomers or fibrils. M204 and an engineered single-chain variable fragment (scFv) inhibited seeding by IL15-induced tau oligomers and pathological extracts from donors with AD and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This finding suggests that M204-scFv targets pathological structures that are formed by tau in neurodegenerative diseases. We found that M204-scFv itself partitions into oligomeric forms that inhibit seeding differently, and crystal structures of the M204-scFv monomer, dimer, and trimer revealed conformational differences that explain differences among these forms in binding and inhibition. The efficiency of M204-scFv antibodies to inhibit the seeding by brain tissue extracts from different donors with tauopathies varied among individuals, indicating the possible existence of distinct amyloid polymorphs. We propose that by binding to oligomers, which are hypothesized to be the earliest seeding-competent species, M204-scFv may have potential as an early-stage diagnostic for AD and tauopathies, and also could guide the development of promising therapeutic antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.013638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7397112PMC
July 2020

Structures of α-synuclein filaments from multiple system atrophy.

Nature 2020 09 27;585(7825):464-469. Epub 2020 May 27.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Synucleinopathies, which include multiple system atrophy (MSA), Parkinson's disease, Parkinson's disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), are human neurodegenerative diseases. Existing treatments are at best symptomatic. These diseases are characterized by the presence of, and believed to be caused by the formation of, filamentous inclusions of α-synuclein in brain cells. However, the structures of α-synuclein filaments from the human brain are unknown. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy, we show that α-synuclein inclusions from the brains of individuals with MSA are made of two types of filament, each of which consists of two different protofilaments. In each type of filament, non-proteinaceous molecules are present at the interface of the two protofilaments. Using two-dimensional class averaging, we show that α-synuclein filaments from the brains of individuals with MSA differ from those of individuals with DLB, which suggests that distinct conformers or strains characterize specific synucleinopathies. As is the case with tau assemblies, the structures of α-synuclein filaments extracted from the brains of individuals with MSA differ from those formed in vitro using recombinant proteins, which has implications for understanding the mechanisms of aggregate propagation and neurodegeneration in the human brain. These findings have diagnostic and potential therapeutic relevance, especially because of the unmet clinical need to be able to image filamentous α-synuclein inclusions in the human brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2317-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116528PMC
September 2020

α-Synuclein filaments from transgenic mouse and human synucleinopathy-containing brains are major seed-competent species.

J Biol Chem 2020 05 24;295(19):6652-6664. Epub 2020 Mar 24.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge CB2 0QH, United Kingdom

Assembled α-synuclein in nerve cells and glial cells is the defining pathological feature of neurodegenerative diseases called synucleinopathies. Seeds of α-synuclein can induce the assembly of monomeric protein. Here, we used sucrose gradient centrifugation and transiently transfected HEK 293T cells to identify the species of α-synuclein from the brains of homozygous, symptomatic mice transgenic for human mutant A53T α-synuclein (line M83) that seed aggregation. The most potent fractions contained Sarkosyl-insoluble assemblies enriched in filaments. We also analyzed six cases of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD), one case of familial PD, and six cases of multiple system atrophy (MSA) for their ability to induce α-synuclein aggregation. The MSA samples were more potent than those of idiopathic PD in seeding aggregation. We found that following sucrose gradient centrifugation, the most seed-competent fractions from PD and MSA brains are those that contain Sarkosyl-insoluble α-synuclein. The fractions differed between PD and MSA, consistent with the presence of distinct conformers of assembled α-synuclein in these different samples. We conclude that α-synuclein filaments are the main driving force for amplification and propagation of pathology in synucleinopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.012179DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212628PMC
May 2020

Neurodegeneration-Associated Proteins in Human Olfactory Neurons Collected by Nasal Brushing.

Front Neurosci 2020 5;14:145. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Neuropathology Section, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine, and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

The olfactory neuroepithelium is located in the upper vault of the nasal cavity, lying on the olfactory cleft and projecting into the dorsal portion of the superior and middle turbinates beyond the mid-portion of the nasal septum. It is composed of a variety of cell types including olfactory sensory neurons, supporting glial-like cells, microvillar cells, and basal stem cells. The cells of the neuroepithelium are often intermingled with respiratory and metaplastic epithelial cells. Olfactory neurons undergo a constant self-renewal in the timespan of 2-3 months; they are directly exposed to the external environment, and thus they are vulnerable to physical and chemical injuries. The latter might induce metabolic perturbations and ultimately be the cause of cell death. However, the lifespan of olfactory neurons is biologically programmed, and for this reason, these cells have an accelerated metabolic cycle leading to an irreversible apoptosis. These characteristics make these cells suitable for research related to nerve cell degeneration and aging. Recent studies have shown that a non-invasive and painless olfactory brushing procedure allows an efficient sampling from the olfactory neuroepithelium. This approach allows to detect the pathologic prion protein in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, using the real-time quaking-induced conversion assay. Investigating the expression of all the proteins associated to neurodegeneration in the cells of the olfactory mucosa is a novel approach toward understanding the pathogenesis of human neurodegenerative diseases. Our aim was to investigate the expression of α-synuclein, β-amyloid, tau, and TDP-43 in the olfactory neurons of normal subjects. We showed that these proteins that are involved in neurodegenerative diseases are expressed in olfactory neurons. These findings raise the question on whether a relationship exists between the mechanisms of protein aggregation that occur in the olfactory bulb during the early stage of the neurodegenerative process and the protein misfolding occurring in the olfactory neuroepithelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.00145DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7066258PMC
March 2020

A single ultrasensitive assay for detection and discrimination of tau aggregates of Alzheimer and Pick diseases.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2020 02 22;8(1):22. Epub 2020 Feb 22.

LPVD, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT, 59840, USA.

Multiple neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by aggregation of tau molecules. Adult humans express six isoforms of tau that contain either 3 or 4 microtubule binding repeats (3R or 4R tau). Different diseases involve preferential aggregation of 3R (e.g Pick disease), 4R (e.g. progressive supranuclear palsy), or both 3R and 4R tau molecules [e.g. Alzheimer disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy]. Three ultrasensitive cell-free seed amplification assays [called tau real-time quaking induced conversion (tau RT-QuIC) assays] have been developed that preferentially detect 3R, 4R, or 3R/4R tau aggregates in biospecimens. In these reactions, low-fg amounts of a given self-propagating protein aggregate (the seed) are incubated with a vast excess of recombinant tau monomers (the substrate) in multi-well plates. Over time, the seeds incorporate the substrate to grow into amyloids that can then be detected using thioflavin T fluorescence. Here we describe a tau RT-QuIC assay (K12 RT-QuIC) that, using a C-terminally extended recombinant 3R tau substrate (K12CFh), enables sensitive detection of Pick disease, Alzheimer disease, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy seeds in brain homogenates. The discrimination of Pick disease from Alzheimer disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy cases is then achieved through the quantitative differences in K12 RT-QuIC assay thioflavin T responses, which correlate with structural properties of the reaction products. In particular, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis of the respective K12CFh amyloids showed distinct β-sheet conformations, suggesting at least partial propagation of the original seed conformations in vitro. Thus, K12 RT-QuIC provides a single assay for ultrasensitive detection and discrimination of tau aggregates comprised mainly of 3R, or both 3R and 4R, tau isoforms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-020-0887-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7036215PMC
February 2020

Novel tau filament fold in corticobasal degeneration.

Nature 2020 04 12;580(7802):283-287. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.

Corticobasal degeneration (CBD) is a neurodegenerative tauopathy-a class of disorders in which the tau protein forms insoluble inclusions in the brain-that is characterized by motor and cognitive disturbances. The H1 haplotype of MAPT (the tau gene) is present in cases of CBD at a higher frequency than in controls, and genome-wide association studies have identified additional risk factors. By histology, astrocytic plaques are diagnostic of CBD; by SDS-PAGE, so too are detergent-insoluble, 37 kDa fragments of tau. Like progressive supranuclear palsy, globular glial tauopathy and argyrophilic grain disease, CBD is characterized by abundant filamentous tau inclusions that are made of isoforms with four microtubule-binding repeats. This distinguishes such '4R' tauopathies from Pick's disease (the filaments of which are made of three-repeat (3R) tau isoforms) and from Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (in which both 3R and 4R isoforms are found in the filaments). Here we use cryo-electron microscopy to analyse the structures of tau filaments extracted from the brains of three individuals with CBD. These filaments were identical between cases, but distinct from those seen in Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease and CTE. The core of a CBD filament comprises residues lysine 274 to glutamate 380 of tau, spanning the last residue of the R1 repeat, the whole of the R2, R3 and R4 repeats, and 12 amino acids after R4. The core adopts a previously unseen four-layered fold, which encloses a large nonproteinaceous density. This density is surrounded by the side chains of lysine residues 290 and 294 from R2 and lysine 370 from the sequence after R4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2043-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7148158PMC
April 2020

Exceptionally low likelihood of Alzheimer's dementia in APOE2 homozygotes from a 5,000-person neuropathological study.

Nat Commun 2020 02 3;11(1):667. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.

Each additional copy of the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) allele is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's dementia, while the APOE2 allele is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia, it is not yet known whether APOE2 homozygotes have a particularly low risk. We generated Alzheimer's dementia odds ratios and other findings in more than 5,000 clinically characterized and neuropathologically characterized Alzheimer's dementia cases and controls. APOE2/2 was associated with a low Alzheimer's dementia odds ratios compared to APOE2/3 and 3/3, and an exceptionally low odds ratio compared to APOE4/4, and the impact of APOE2 and APOE4 gene dose was significantly greater in the neuropathologically confirmed group than in more than 24,000 neuropathologically unconfirmed cases and controls. Finding and targeting the factors by which APOE and its variants influence Alzheimer's disease could have a major impact on the understanding, treatment and prevention of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14279-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997393PMC
February 2020

Awareness of genetic risk in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN).

Alzheimers Dement 2020 01;16(1):219-228

Neuroscience Research Australia, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Introduction: Although some members of families with autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease mutations learn their mutation status, most do not. How knowledge of mutation status affects clinical disease progression is unknown. This study quantifies the influence of mutation awareness on clinical symptoms, cognition, and biomarkers.

Methods: Mutation carriers and non-carriers from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) were stratified based on knowledge of mutation status. Rates of change on standard clinical, cognitive, and neuroimaging outcomes were examined.

Results: Mutation knowledge had no associations with cognitive decline, clinical progression, amyloid deposition, hippocampal volume, or depression in either carriers or non-carriers. Carriers who learned their status mid-study had slightly higher levels of depression and lower cognitive scores.

Discussion: Knowledge of mutation status does not affect rates of change on any measured outcome. Learning of status mid-study may confer short-term changes in cognitive functioning, or changes in cognition may influence the determination of mutation status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7206736PMC
January 2020

Luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes distinguish between α-synuclein assemblies of Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2019 12 3;7(1):193. Epub 2019 Dec 3.

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, CB2 0QH, UK.

Synucleinopathies [Parkinson's disease with or without dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy] are neurodegenerative diseases that are defined by the presence of filamentous α-synuclein inclusions. We investigated the ability of luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes to stain the inclusions of Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy. They stained the Lewy pathology of Parkinson's disease and the glial cytoplasmic inclusions of multiple system atrophy. Spectral analysis of HS-68-stained inclusions showed a red shift in multiple system atrophy, but the difference with Parkinson's disease was not significant. However, when inclusions were double-labelled for HS-68 and an antibody specific for α-synuclein phosphorylated at S129, they could be distinguished based on colour shifts with blue designated for Parkinson's disease and red for multiple system atrophy. The inclusions of Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy could also be distinguished using fluorescence lifetime imaging. These findings are consistent with the presence of distinct conformers of assembled α-synuclein in Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-019-0840-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6892142PMC
December 2019

Correction to: 4-Repeat tau seeds and templating subtypes as brain and CSF biomarkers of frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

Acta Neuropathol 2020 Jan;139(1):79-81

LPVD, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT, USA.

The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The Panel A in the published figure 5 is incorrect. The corrected Figure 5 is placed in the following page.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02092-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7193369PMC
January 2020
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