Publications by authors named "Henrik Zetterberg"

1,379 Publications

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Plasma proteins, cognitive decline, and 20-year risk of dementia in the Whitehall II and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities studies.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.

Introduction: Plasma proteins affect biological processes and are common drug targets but their role in the development of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias remains unclear. We examined associations between 4953 plasma proteins and cognitive decline and risk of dementia in two cohort studies with 20-year follow-ups.

Methods: In the Whitehall II prospective cohort study proteins were measured using SOMAscan technology. Cognitive performance was tested five times over 20 years. Linkage to electronic health records identified incident dementia. The results were replicated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.

Results: Fifteen non-amyloid/non-tau-related proteins were associated with cognitive decline and dementia, were consistently identified in both cohorts, and were not explained by known dementia risk factors. Levels of six of the proteins are modifiable by currently approved medications for other conditions.

Discussion: This study identified several plasma proteins in dementia-free people that are associated with long-term risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12419DOI Listing
August 2021

Insulin resistance is related to cognitive decline but not change in CSF biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in non-demented adults.

Alzheimers Dement (Amst) 2021 28;13(1):e12220. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Madison Wisconsin USA.

Introduction: We investigated whether insulin resistance (IR) was associated with longitudinal age-related change in cognition and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and neurodegeneration in middle-aged and older adults who were non-demented at baseline.

Methods: IR was measured with homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR). Core AD-related cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers and cognition were assessed, respectively, on n = 212 (1 to 5 visits) and n = 1299 (1 to 6 visits). Linear mixed models tested whether HOMA2-IR moderated age-related change in CSF biomarkers and cognition. Linear regressions tested whether HOMA2-IR x apolipoprotein E ε4 allele ( ε4) carrier status predicted amyloid beta [Aβ] chronicity (estimated duration of amyloid positron emission tomography [PET] positivity) (n = 253).

Results: Higher HOMA2-IR was associated with greater cognitive decline but not with changes in CSF biomarkers. HOMA2-IR x was not related to Aβ chronicity but was significantly associated with CSF phosphorylated tau (P-tau)/Aβ level.

Discussion: In non-demented adults IR may not be directly associated with age-related change in AD biomarkers. Additional research is needed to determine mechanisms linking IR to cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8319658PMC
July 2021

Synaptic Molecular and Neurophysiological Markers Are Independent Predictors of Progression in Alzheimer's Disease.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 Jul 25. Epub 2021 Jul 25.

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

Background: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurogranin and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) are potential molecular and functional markers of synaptic pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Synaptic markers have emerged as candidate prognostic indicators of AD since synaptic degeneration was shown to be an early event and the best correlate of cognitive deficits in patients along the disease continuum.

Objective: The present study investigated the association between CSF neurogranin and qEEG measures as well as their potential to predict clinical deterioration in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with MCI (n = 99) underwent CSF conventional AD biomarkers and neurogranin analysis and resting-state EEG recordings. The study population was further stratified into stable (n = 41) and progressive MCI (n = 31), based on the progression to AD dementia during two years follow-up. qEEG analysis included computation of global field power and global field synchronization in four conventional frequency bands.

Results: CSF neurogranin levels were associated with theta power and synchronization in the progressive MCI group. CSF neurogranin and qEEG measures were significant predictors of progression to AD dementia, independent of baseline amyloid status in MCI patients. A combination of CSF neurogranin with global EEG power in theta and global EEG synchronization in beta band exhibited the highest classification accuracy as compared to either of these markers alone.

Conclusion: qEEG and CSF neurogranin are independent predictors of progression to AD dementia in MCI patients. Molecular and neurophysiological synaptic markers may have additive value in a multimodal diagnostic and prognostic approach to dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201234DOI Listing
July 2021

Neurochemical signs of astrocytic and neuronal injury in acute COVID-19 normalizes during long-term follow-up.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jul 29;70:103512. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; Department of Infectious Diseases, Region Västra Götaland, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We sought to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19.

Methods: Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analysed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15).

Findings: One hundred patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 were followed for a median (IQR) of 225 (187-262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0·001), and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0·001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0·05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0·53, p < 0·001) and GFAp (r = 0·39, p < 0·001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly fatigue (n = 40), "brain-fog" (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no correlation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase.

Interpretation: The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicates that post COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury.

Funding: The Swedish State Support for Clinical Research, SciLifeLab Sweden, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have provided funding for this project.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103512DOI Listing
July 2021

Cognitively unimpaired individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology have a distinct CSF biomarker profile.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2021 Jul 27;13(1):134. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), Pasqual Maragall Foundation, Wellington 30, 08005, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Understanding the changes that occur in the transitional stage between absent and overt amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology within the Alzheimer's continuum is crucial to develop therapeutic and preventive strategies. The objective of this study is to test whether cognitively unimpaired individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology have a distinct CSF, structural, and functional neuroimaging biomarker profile.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of 318 middle-aged, cognitively unimpaired individuals from the ALFA+ cohort. We measured CSF Aβ42/40, phosphorylated tau (p-tau), total tau (t-tau), neurofilament light (NfL), neurogranin, sTREM2, YKL40, GFAP, IL6, S100B, and α-synuclein. Participants also underwent cognitive assessments, APOE genotyping, structural MRI, [F]-FDG, and [F]-flutemetamol PET. To ensure the robustness of our results, we used three definitions of low burden of Aβ pathology: (1) positive CSF Aβ42/40 and < 30 Centiloids in Aβ PET, (2) positive CSF Aβ42/40 and negative Aβ PET visual read, and (3) 20-40 Centiloid range in Aβ PET. We tested CSF and neuroimaging biomarker differences between the low burden group and the corresponding Aβ-negative group, adjusted by age and sex.

Results: The prevalence and demographic characteristics of the low burden group differed between the three definitions. CSF p-tau and t-tau were increased in the low burden group compared to the Aβ-negative in all definitions. CSF neurogranin was increased in the low burden group definitions 1 and 3, while CSF NfL was only increased in the low burden group definition 1. None of the defined low burden groups showed signs of atrophy or glucose hypometabolism. Instead, we found slight increases in cortical thickness and metabolism in definition 2.

Conclusions: There are biologically meaningful Aβ-downstream effects in individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology, while structural and functional changes are still subtle or absent. These findings support considering individuals with a low burden of Aβ pathology for clinical trials.

Trial Registration: NCT02485730.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-021-00863-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314554PMC
July 2021

Comparison of Plasma Phosphorylated Tau Species With Amyloid and Tau Positron Emission Tomography, Neurodegeneration, Vascular Pathology, and Cognitive Outcomes.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Importance: Cerebrospinal fluid phosphorylated tau (p-tau) 181, p-tau217, and p-tau231 are associated with neuropathological outcomes, but a comparison of these p-tau isoforms in blood samples is needed.

Objective: To conduct a head-to-head comparison of plasma p-tau181 and p-tau231 measured on the single-molecule array (Simoa) platform and p-tau181 and p-tau217 measured on the Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) platform on amyloid and tau positron emission tomography (PET) measures, neurodegeneration, vascular pathology, and cognitive outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This study included data from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging collected from March 1, 2015, to September 30, 2017, and analyzed between December 15, 2020, and May 17, 2021. Associations between the 4 plasma p-tau measures and dichotomous amyloid PET, metaregion of interest tau PET, and entorhinal cortex tau PET were analyzed using logistic regression models; the predictive accuracy was summarized using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) statistic. Of 1329 participants without dementia and with p-tau181 and p-tau217 on MSD, 200 participants with plasma p-tau181 and p-tau231 on Simoa and magnetic resonance imaging and amyloid and tau PET data at the same study visit were eligible.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Primary outcomes included amyloid (greater than 1.48 standardized uptake value ratio) and tau PET, white matter hyperintensities, white matter microstructural integrity (fractional anisotropy genu of corpus callosum and hippocampal cingulum bundle), and cognition.

Results: Of 200 included participants, 101 (50.5%) were male, and the median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 79.5 (71.1-84.1) years. A total of 177 were cognitively unimpaired (CU) and 23 had mild cognitive impairment. Compared with amyloid-negative CU participants, among amyloid-positive CU participants, the median (IQR) Simoa p-tau181 measure was 49% higher (2.58 [2.00-3.72] vs 1.73 [1.45-2.13] pg/mL), MSD p-tau181 measure was 53% higher (1.22 [0.91-1.56] vs 0.80 [0.66-0.97] pg/mL), MSD p-tau217 measure was 77% higher (0.23 [0.17-0.34] vs 0.13 [0.09-0.18] pg/mL), and Simoa p-tau231 measure was 49% higher (20.21 [15.60-25.41] vs 14.27 [11.27-18.10] pg/mL). There were no differences between the p-tau species for amyloid PET and tau PET metaregions of interest. However, among CU participants, both MSD p-tau181 and MSD p-tau217 more accurately predicted abnormal entorhinal cortex tau PET than Simoa p-tau181 (MSD p-tau181: AUROC, 0.80 vs 0.70; P = .046; MSD p-tau217: AUROC, 0.81 vs 0.70; P = .04). MSD p-tau181 and p-tau217 and Simoa p-tau181, but not p-tau231, were associated with greater white matter hyperintensity volume and lower white matter microstructural integrity.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this largely presymptomatic population, these results suggest subtle differences across plasma p-tau species and platforms for the prediction of amyloid and tau PET and magnetic resonance imaging measures of cerebrovascular and Alzheimer-related pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.2293DOI Listing
July 2021

Cerebrospinal fluid metallomics in cerebral amyloid angiopathy: an exploratory analysis.

J Neurol 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Stroke Research Centre, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5EH, UK.

Introduction: Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is associated with symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage. Biomarkers of clinically silent bleeding events, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) ferritin and iron, might provide novel measures of disease presence and severity.

Methods: We performed an exploratory study comparing CSF iron, ferritin, and other metal levels in patients with CAA, control subjects (CS) and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Ferritin was measured using a latex fixation test; metal analyses were performed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Results: CAA patients (n = 10) had higher levels of CSF iron than the AD (n = 20) and CS (n = 10) groups (medians 23.42, 15.48 and 17.71 μg/L, respectively, p = 0.0015); the difference between CAA and AD groups was significant in unadjusted and age-adjusted analyses. We observed a difference in CSF ferritin (medians 10.10, 7.77 and 8.01 ng/ml, for CAA, AD and CS groups, respectively, p = 0.01); the difference between the CAA and AD groups was significant in unadjusted, but not age-adjusted, analyses. We also observed differences between the CAA and AD groups in CSF nickel and cobalt (unadjusted analyses).

Conclusions: In this exploratory study, we provide preliminary evidence for a distinct CSF metallomic profile in patients with CAA. Replication and validation of these results in larger cohorts is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00415-021-10711-6DOI Listing
July 2021

Genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction of model animals as a platform for translational research.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Jul;118(30)

Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden;

Genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) are used extensively for analysis of mechanisms underlying human diseases and metabolic malfunctions. However, the lack of comprehensive and high-quality GEMs for model organisms restricts translational utilization of omics data accumulating from the use of various disease models. Here we present a unified platform of GEMs that covers five major model animals, including Mouse1 (), Rat1 (), Zebrafish1 (), Fruitfly1 (), and Worm1 (). These GEMs represent the most comprehensive coverage of the metabolic network by considering both orthology-based pathways and species-specific reactions. All GEMs can be interactively queried via the accompanying web portal Metabolic Atlas. Specifically, through integrative analysis of Mouse1 with RNA-sequencing data from brain tissues of transgenic mice we identified a coordinated up-regulation of lysosomal GM2 ganglioside and peptide degradation pathways which appears to be a signature metabolic alteration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) mouse models with a phenotype of amyloid precursor protein overexpression. This metabolic shift was further validated with proteomics data from transgenic mice and cerebrospinal fluid samples from human patients. The elevated lysosomal enzymes thus hold potential to be used as a biomarker for early diagnosis of AD. Taken together, we foresee that this evolving open-source platform will serve as an important resource to facilitate the development of systems medicines and translational biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2102344118DOI Listing
July 2021

Associations of Fully Automated CSF and Novel Plasma Biomarkers With Alzheimer Disease Neuropathology at Autopsy.

Neurology 2021 Jul 15. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden;

Objective: To study cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) analyzed by fully automated Elecsys immunoassays in comparison to neuropathologic gold standards, and compare their accuracy to plasma phosphorylated tau (p-tau181) measured using a novel Simoa method.

Methods: We studied Elecsys-derived CSF biomarkers in 45 individuals who underwent standardized assessments of AD and non-AD neuropathologic changes at autopsy. In a subset of 26 participants, we also analysed levels of plasma p-tau181 and neurofilament light (NfL). Reference biomarker values were obtained from 146 amyloid-PET-negative healthy controls (HC).

Results: All CSF biomarkers clearly distinguished pathology-confirmed AD dementia (N=27) from HC (AUCs=0.86-1.00). CSF total-tau (t-tau), p-tau181, and their ratios with Aβ, also accurately distinguished pathology-confirmed AD from non-AD dementia (N=8; AUCs=0.94-0.97). In pathology-specific analyses, intermediate-to-high Thal amyloid phases were best detected by CSF Aβ (AUC[95% CI]=0.91[0.81-1]), while intermediate-to-high CERAD neuritic plaques and Braak tau stages were best detected by CSF p-tau181 (AUC=0.89[0.79-0.99] and 0.88[0.77-0.99], respectively). Optimal Elecsys biomarker cut-offs were derived at 1097/229/19 pg/ml for Aβ, t-tau, and p-tau181. In the plasma subsample, both plasma p-tau181 (AUC=0.91[0.86-0.96]) and NfL (AUC=0.93[0.87-0.99]) accurately distinguished pathology-confirmed AD (N=14) from HC. However, only p-tau181 distinguished AD from non-AD dementia cases (N=4; AUC=0.96[0.88-1.00]), and showed a similar, though weaker, pathologic specificity for neuritic plaques (AUC=0.75[0.52-0.98]) and Braak stage (AUC=0.71[0.44-0.98]) as CSF p-tau181.

Conclusions: Elecsys-derived CSF biomarkers detect AD neuropathologic changes with very high discriminative accuracy . Preliminary findings support the use of plasma p-tau181 as an easily accessible and scalable biomarker of AD pathology.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that fully-automated CSF t-tau and p-tau181measurements discriminate between autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000012513DOI Listing
July 2021

Phosphorylated tau181 in plasma as a potential biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in adults with Down syndrome.

Nat Commun 2021 07 14;12(1):4304. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Plasma tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau181) predicts Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology with high accuracy in the general population. In this study, we investigated plasma p-tau181 as a biomarker of AD in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). We included 366 adults with DS (240 asymptomatic, 43 prodromal AD, 83 AD dementia) and 44 euploid cognitively normal controls. We measured plasma p-tau181 with a Single molecule array (Simoa) assay. We examined the diagnostic performance of p-tau181 for the detection of AD and the relationship with other fluid and imaging biomarkers. Plasma p-tau181 concentration showed an area under the curve of 0.80 [95% CI 0.73-0.87] and 0.92 [95% CI 0.89-0.95] for the discrimination between asymptomatic individuals versus those in the prodromal and dementia groups, respectively. Plasma p-tau181 correlated with atrophy and hypometabolism in temporoparietal regions. Our findings indicate that plasma p-tau181 concentration can be useful to detect AD in DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24319-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280160PMC
July 2021

Cohort Analysis of the Association of Delirium Severity with Cerebrospinal Fluid Amyloid-Tau-Neurodegeneration Pathologies.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Delirium is associated with cognitive decline and subsequent dementia, and rises in plasma total Tau (tTau) and neurofilament light (NfL), providing links to Amyloid-Tau-Neurodegeneration (ATN) pathophysiology. We investigated whether changes in delirium severity after surgery correlated with changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) ATN biomarkers. Thirty-two thoracic vascular surgical patients were recruited into a prospective biomarker cohort study with assessment of delirium severity and incidence (NCT02926417). CSF (n = 54) and plasma (n = 118) samples were sent for biomarker analysis for tTau, phosphorylated tau-181 (pTau) (plasma n = 53), NfL, and amyloid-β 42/40 ratio (Ab42/40-ratio). The primary outcome was the correlation of preoperative to postoperative change in ATN biomarkers with the highest postoperative Delirium Rating Scale-98 score. CSF and plasma biomarkers all increased postoperatively (all P < .05, n = 13 paired preoperative-postoperative samples). Delirium severity was associated with peak changes in CSF tTau (P = .007, r = 0.710) and pTau (P = .01, r = 0.667) but not NfL (P = .09, rho = 0.491) or Ab42/40-ratio (P = 0.18, rho = 0.394). Sensitivity analysis with exclusion of subjects with putative spinal cord ischaemia shifted the NfL result to significance (P < .001, rho = .847). Our data show that changes in tau and biomarkers of neurodegeneration in the CSF are associated with delirium severity. These data should be considered hypothesis generating and future studies should identify if these changes are robust to confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glab203DOI Listing
July 2021

Plasma GFAP is an early marker of amyloid-β but not tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease.

Brain 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Clinical Memory Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Sweden.

Although recent clinical trials targeting amyloid-β (Aβ) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have shown promising results, there is increasing evidence suggesting that understanding alternative disease pathways that interact with Aβ metabolism and amyloid pathology might be important to halt the clinical deterioration. In particular, there is evidence supporting a critical role of astroglial activation and astrocytosis in AD. However, to this date, no studies have assessed whether astrocytosis is independently related to either Aβ or tau pathology, respectively, in vivo. To address this question, we determined the levels of the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 217 Aβ-negative cognitively unimpaired individuals, 71 Aβ-positive cognitively unimpaired individuals, 78 Aβ-positive cognitively impaired individuals, 63 Aβ-negative cognitively impaired individuals and 75 patients with a non-AD neurodegenerative disorder from the Swedish BioFINDER-2 study. Subjects underwent longitudinal Aβ (18F-flutemetamol) and tau (18F-RO948) positron emission tomography (PET) as well as cognitive testing. We found that plasma GFAP concentration was significantly increased in all Aβ-positive groups compared with subjects without Aβ pathology (p < 0.01). In addition, there were significant associations between plasma GFAP with higher Aβ-PET signal in all Aβ-positive groups, but also in cognitively normal individuals with normal Aβ values (p < 0.001), which remained significant after controlling for tau-PET signal. Furthermore, plasma GFAP could predict Aβ-PET positivity with an area under the curve of 0.76, which was greater than the performance achieved by CSF GFAP (0.69) and other glial markers (CSF YKL-40: 0.64, sTREM2: 0.71). Although correlations were also observed between tau-PET and plasma GFAP, these were no longer significant after controlling for Aβ-PET. In contrast to plasma GFAP, CSF GFAP concentration was significantly increased in non-AD patients compared to other groups (p < 0.05) and correlated with Aβ-PET only in Aβ-positive cognitively impaired individuals (p = 0.005). Finally, plasma GFAP was associated with both longitudinal Aβ-PET and cognitive decline, and mediated the effect of Aβ-PET on tau-PET burden, suggesting that astrocytosis secondary to Aβ aggregation might promote tau accumulation. Altogether, these findings indicate that plasma GFAP is an early marker associated with brain Aβ pathology but not tau aggregation, even in cognitively normal individuals with a normal Aβ status. This suggests that plasma GFAP should be incorporated in current hypothetical models of AD pathogenesis and be used as a non-invasive and accessible tool to detect early astrocytosis secondary to Aβ pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab223DOI Listing
July 2021

Plasma interferon-alpha is associated with double-positivity for autoantibodies but is not a predictor of remission in early rheumatoid arthritis-a spin-off study of the NORD-STAR randomized clinical trial.

Arthritis Res Ther 2021 Jul 13;23(1):189. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 10A, S-405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: The type I interferon (IFN) gene signature is present in a subgroup of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Protein levels of IFNα have not been measured in RA and it is unknown whether they associate with clinical characteristics or treatment effect.

Methods: Patients with early untreated RA (n = 347) were randomized to methotrexate combined with prednisone, certolizumab-pegol, abatacept, or tocilizumab. Plasma IFNα protein levels were determined by single molecular array (Simoa) before and 24 weeks after treatment initiation and were related to demographic and clinical factors including clinical disease activity index, disease activity score in 28 joints, swollen and tender joint counts, and patient global assessment.

Results: IFNα protein positivity was found in 26% of the patients, and of these, 92% were double-positive for rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). IFNα protein levels were reduced 24 weeks after treatment initiation, and the absolute change was similar irrespective of treatment. IFNα protein positivity was associated neither with disease activity nor with achievement of CDAI remission 24 weeks after randomization.

Conclusion: IFNα protein positivity is present in a subgroup of patients with early RA and associates with double-positivity for autoantibodies but not with disease activity. Pre-treatment IFNα positivity did not predict remission in any of the treatment arms, suggesting that the IFNα system is distinct from the pathways of TNF, IL-6, and T-cell activation in early RA. A spin-off study of the NORD-STAR randomized clinical trial, NCT01491815 (ClinicalTrials), registered 12/08/2011, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01491815 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-021-02556-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278690PMC
July 2021

Tau PET correlates with different Alzheimer's disease-related features compared to CSF and plasma p-tau biomarkers.

EMBO Mol Med 2021 Jul 13:e14398. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Clinical Memory Research Unit, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

PET, CSF and plasma biomarkers of tau pathology may be differentially associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related demographic, cognitive, genetic and neuroimaging markers. We examined 771 participants with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment or dementia from BioFINDER-2 (n = 400) and ADNI (n = 371). All had tau-PET ([ F]RO948 in BioFINDER-2, [ F]flortaucipir in ADNI) and CSF p-tau181 biomarkers available. Plasma p-tau181 and plasma/CSF p-tau217 were available in BioFINDER-2 only. Concordance between PET, CSF and plasma tau biomarkers ranged between 66 and 95%. Across the whole group, ridge regression models showed that increased CSF and plasma p-tau181 and p-tau217 levels were independently of tau PET associated with higher age, and APOEɛ4-carriership and Aβ-positivity, while increased tau-PET signal in the temporal cortex was associated with worse cognitive performance and reduced cortical thickness. We conclude that biofluid and neuroimaging markers of tau pathology convey partly independent information, with CSF and plasma p-tau181 and p-tau217 levels being more tightly linked with early markers of AD (especially Aβ-pathology), while tau-PET shows the strongest associations with cognitive and neurodegenerative markers of disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202114398DOI Listing
July 2021

Circulating granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and functional outcome after ischemic stroke: an observational study.

Neurol Res 2021 Jul 13:1-10. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Medicine, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

: While granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has shown beneficial effects in experimental ischemic stroke (IS), these effects have not been reproduced clinically. Small-to-medium-sized observational studies have reported varying associations for G-CSF with stroke severity and post-stroke functional outcome, prompting their investigation in a larger study.: Endogenous serum G-CSF (S-GCSF) was measured in the acute phase and after 3 months in patients with IS (N = 435; 36% females; mean age, 57 years) from the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke (SAHLSIS). Stroke severity was scored according to the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) assessed functional outcomes at 3-month and 2-year post-stroke. Correlation and logistic regression analyses with confounder adjustments assessed the relationships.Results: The acute S-GCSF level was 23% higher than at 3-month post-stroke (p < 0.001). Acute G-CSF correlated weakly with stroke severity quintiles (r = 0.12, p = 0.013) and with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (r = 0.29, p < 0.001). The association between S-GCSF (as quintiles, q) and poor functional outcome at 3 months (mRS 3-6; S-GCSF-q5 vs. S-GCSF-q1, age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio: 4.27, 95% confidence interval: 1.82-9.99; p = 0.001) withstood adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors and stroke subtype, but not additional correction for stroke severity. Post-stroke changes in S-GSCF and absolute 3-month S-GCSF were not associated with 3-month or 2-year functional outcomes.Discussion: Early post-stroke S-GCSF is increased in severe IS and associated with 3-month poor functional outcomes. The change in S-GCSF and the 3-month S-GCSF appear to be less-important, and S-GCSF likely reflects inflammation in large infarctions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01616412.2021.1948766DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of CSF sTREM2, a marker of microglia activation, with cholinergic basal forebrain volume in major depressive disorder.

J Affect Disord 2021 Jun 24;293:429-434. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, NY, USA; Department of Psychiatry, New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Inflammatory mechanisms are believed to contribute to the manifestation of major depressive disorder (MDD). Central cholinergic activity may moderate this effect. Here, we tested if volume of the cholinergic basal forebrain is associated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of sTREM2 as a marker of microglial activation in people with late life MDD.

Methods: Basal forebrain volume was determined from structural MRI scans and levels of CSF sTREM2 with immunoassay in 29 people with late-life MDD and 20 healthy older controls at baseline and 3 years follow-up. Associations were determined using Bayesian analysis of covariance.

Results: We found moderate level of evidence for an association of lower CSF levels of sTREM2 at 3 years follow up with MDD (Bayes factor in favor of an effect = 7.9). This level of evidence prevailed when controlling for overall antidepressant treatment and CSF levels of markers of AD pathology, i.e., Aβ42/Aβ40, ptau and total tau. Evidence was in favor of absence of an effect for baseline levels of CSF sTREM2 in MDD cases and for baseline and follow up data in controls.

Limitations: The sample size of repeated CSF examinations was relatively small. Therefore, we used Bayesian sequential analysis to assess if effects were affected by sample size. Still, the number of cases was too small to stratify effects for different antidepressive treatments.

Conclusions: Our data agree with the assumption that central cholinergic system integrity may contribute to regulation of microglia activity in late-life MDD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.06.030DOI Listing
June 2021

Refining the amyloid β peptide and oligomer fingerprint ambiguities in Alzheimer's disease: Mass spectrometric molecular characterization in brain, cerebrospinal fluid, blood, and plasma.

J Neurochem 2021 Jul 10. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.

Since its discovery, amyloid-β (Aβ) has been the principal target of investigation of in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Over the years however, no clear correlation was found between the Aβ plaque burden and location, and AD-associated neurodegeneration and cognitive decline. Instead, diagnostic potential of specific Aβ peptides and/or their ratio, was established. For instance, a selective reduction in the concentration of the aggregation-prone 42 amino acid-long Aβ peptide (Aβ42) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was put forward as reflective of Aβ peptide aggregation in the brain. With time, Aβ oligomers-the proposed toxic Aβ intermediates-have emerged as potential drivers of synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration in the disease process. Oligomers are commonly agreed upon to come in different shapes and sizes, and are very poorly characterized when it comes to their composition and their "toxic" properties. The concept of structural polymorphism-a diversity in conformational organization of amyloid aggregates-that depends on the Aβ peptide backbone, makes the characterization of Aβ aggregates and their role in AD progression challenging. In this review, we revisit the history of Aβ discovery and initial characterization and highlight the crucial role mass spectrometry (MS) has played in this process. We critically review the common knowledge gaps in the molecular identity of the Aβ peptide, and how MS is aiding the characterization of higher order Aβ assemblies. Finally, we go on to present recent advances in MS approaches for characterization of Aβ as single peptides and oligomers, and convey our optimism, as to how MS holds a promise for paving the way for progress toward a more comprehensive understanding of Aβ in AD research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15466DOI Listing
July 2021

The blood biomarkers puzzle - A review of protein biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases.

J Neurosci Methods 2021 Jul 6;361:109281. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden; Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden; Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK; UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, London, UK; Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Hong Kong, China.

Neurodegenerative diseases are heterogeneous in their cause and clinical presentation making clinical assessment and disease monitoring challenging. Because of this, there is an urgent need for objective tools such as fluid biomarkers able to quantitate different aspects of the disease. In the last decade, technological improvements and awareness of the importance of biorepositories led to the discovery of an evolving number of fluid biomarkers covering the main characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases such as neurodegeneration, protein aggregates and inflammation. The ability to quantitate each aspect of the disease at a high definition enables a more precise stratification of the patients at inclusion in clinical trials, hence reducing the noise that may hamper the detection of therapeutical efficacy and allowing for smaller but likewise powered studies, which particularly improves the ability to start clinical trials for rare neurological diseases. Moreover, the use of fluid biomarkers has the potential to support a targeted therapeutical intervention, as it is now emerging for the treatment of amyloid-beta deposition in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Here we review the knowledge that evolved from the measurement of fluid biomarker proteins in neurodegenerative conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2021.109281DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of Apolipoprotein E ɛ4 Allele With Clinical and Multimodal Biomarker Changes of Alzheimer Disease in Adults With Down Syndrome.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Sant Pau Memory Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Importance: Alzheimer disease (AD) is the leading cause of death in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Previous studies have suggested that the APOE ɛ4 allele plays a role in the risk and age at onset of dementia in DS; however, data on in vivo biomarkers remain scarce.

Objective: To investigate the association of the APOE ɛ4 allele with clinical and multimodal biomarkers of AD in adults with DS.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This dual-center cohort study recruited adults with DS in Barcelona, Spain, and in Cambridge, UK, between June 1, 2009, and February 28, 2020. Included individuals had been genotyped for APOE and had at least 1 clinical or AD biomarker measurement; 2 individuals were excluded because of the absence of trisomy 21. Participants were either APOE ɛ4 allele carriers or noncarriers.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Participants underwent a neurological and neuropsychological assessment. A subset of participants had biomarker measurements: Aβ1-42, Aβ1-40, phosphorylated tau 181 (pTau181) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), pTau181, and NfL in plasma; amyloid positron emission tomography (PET); fluorine 18-labeled-fluorodeoxyglucose PET; and/or magnetic resonance imaging. Age at symptom onset was compared between APOE ɛ4 allele carriers and noncarriers, and within-group local regression models were used to compare the association of biomarkers with age. Voxelwise analyses were performed to assess topographical differences in gray matter metabolism and volume.

Results: Of the 464 adults with DS included in the study, 97 (20.9%) were APOE ɛ4 allele carriers and 367 (79.1%) were noncarriers. No differences between the 2 groups were found by age (median [interquartile range], 45.9 [36.4-50.2] years vs 43.7 [34.9-50.2] years; P = .56) or sex (51 male carriers [52.6%] vs 199 male noncarriers [54.2%]). APOE ɛ4 allele carriers compared with noncarriers presented with AD symptoms at a younger age (mean [SD] age, 50.7 [4.4] years vs 52.7 [5.8] years; P = .02) and showed earlier cognitive decline. Locally estimated scatterplot smoothing curves further showed between-group differences in biomarker trajectories with age as reflected by nonoverlapping CIs. Specifically, carriers showed lower levels of the CSF Aβ1-42 to Aβ1-40 ratio until age 40 years, earlier increases in amyloid PET and plasma pTau181, and earlier loss of cortical metabolism and hippocampal volume. No differences were found in NfL biomarkers or CSF total tau and pTau181. Voxelwise analyses showed lower metabolism in subcortical and parieto-occipital structures and lower medial temporal volume in APOE ɛ4 allele carriers.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this study, the APOE ɛ4 allele was associated with earlier clinical and biomarker changes of AD in DS. These results provide insights into the mechanisms by which APOE increases the risk of AD, emphasizing the importance of APOE genotype for future clinical trials in DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.1893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261691PMC
July 2021

Reproductive period and preclinical cerebrospinal fluid markers for Alzheimer disease: a 25-year study.

Menopause 2021 Jul 2. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Unit, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Centre for Ageing and Health (AGECAP) at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden Region Västra Götaland, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Psychiatry, Cognition and Old Age Psychiatry Clinic, Gothenburg, Sweden Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the association between reproductive period, as an indicator of endogenous estrogen, and levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for Alzheimer disease (AD).

Methods: A population-based sample of women from Gothenburg, Sweden was followed from 1968 to 1994 (N = 75). All women had natural menopause and were free from dementia. Information on reproductive period (age at menarche to age at menopause) was obtained from interviews from 1968 to 1980. Lumbar puncture was performed from 1992 to 1994 and CSF levels of Aβ42, Aβ40, P-tau, and T-tau were measured with immunochemical methods. Linear regression models adjusted for potential confounders were used to analyze the relationship between reproductive period and CSF biomarkers for AD.

Results: Longer reproductive period was associated with lower levels of Aβ42 (β = -19.2, P  = 0.01), higher levels of P-tau (β = 0.03, P  = 0.01), and lower ratio of Aβ42/Aβ40 (β = -0.02, P  = 0.01), while no association was observed for T-tau (β = 0.01, P  = 0.46). In separate analyses, examining the different components of reproductive period, earlier age at menarche was associated higher levels of P-tau (β = -0.07, P  = 0.031) and lower ratio of Aβ42/Aβ40 (β = 0.05, P  = 0.021), whereas no association was observed with Aβ42 (β = 31.1, P  = 0.11) and T-tau (β = -0.001, P  = 0.98). Furthermore, no association was observed between age at menopause and CSF biomarkers for AD.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that longer exposure to endogenous estrogen may be associated with increased levels of AD biomarkers in the preclinical phase of AD. These findings, however, need to be confirmed in larger samples.

Video Summary:http://links.lww.com/MENO/A804.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/GME.0000000000001816DOI Listing
July 2021

Correlation between CSF and blood neurofilament light chain protein: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMJ Neurol Open 2021 16;3(1):e000143. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Department of Infectious Disease, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Objective: To assess the overall pooled correlation coefficient estimate between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood neurofilament light (NfL) protein.

Methods: We searched Medline, Embase and Web of Science for published articles, from their inception to 9 July 2019, according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses guidelines. Studies reporting the correlation between CSF and blood NfL in humans were included. We conducted a random-effects meta-analysis to calculate the overall pooled correlation coefficient estimate, accounting for correlation technique and assay used. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I statistic test. In sensitivity analyses, we calculated the pooled correlation coefficient estimate according to blood NfL assay: single-molecule array digital immunoassay (Simoa), electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assay or ELISA.

Results: Data were extracted from 36 articles, including 3961 paired CSF and blood NfL samples. Overall, 26/36 studies measured blood NfL using Simoa, 8/36 ECL, 1/36 ELISA and 1 study reported all three assay results. The overall meta-analysis demonstrated that the pooled correlation coefficient estimate for CSF and blood NfL was r=0.72. Heterogeneity was significant: I=83%, p<0.01. In sensitivity analyses, the pooled correlation coefficient was similar for studies measuring blood NfL using Simoa and ECL (r=0.69 and r=0.68, respectively) but weaker for ELISA (r=0.35).

Conclusion: Moderate correlations are demonstrated between CSF and blood NfL, especially when blood NfL was measured using Simoa and ECL. Given its high analytical sensitivity, Simoa is the preferred assay for measuring NfL, especially at low or physiological concentrations, and this meta-analysis supports its use as the current most advanced surrogate measure of CSF NfL.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42019140469.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjno-2021-000143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8211066PMC
June 2021

Association of plasma P-tau181 with memory decline in non-demented adults.

Brain Commun 2021 Jul 14;3(3):fcab136. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia worldwide and is characterized by a long preclinical phase in which amyloid-β and tau accumulate in the absence of cognitive decline. biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease are expensive, invasive and inaccessible, yet are critical for accurate disease diagnosis and patient management. Recent ultrasensitive methods to measure plasma phosphorylated tau 181 (p-tau181) display strong correlations with tau positron emission tomography, p-tau181 in CSF, and tau pathology at autopsy. The clinical utility of plasma-based p-tau181 biomarkers is unclear. In a longitudinal multicentre observational study, we assessed 1113 non-demented individuals (509 cognitively unimpaired elderly and 604 individuals with mild cognitive impairment) from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative who underwent neuropsychological assessments and were evaluated for plasma p-tau181. The primary outcome was a memory composite z-score. Mixed-effect models assessed rates of memory decline in relation to baseline plasma p-tau181, and whether plasma p-tau181 significantly predicted memory decline beyond widely available clinical and genetic data (age, sex, years of education, cardiovascular and metabolic conditions, and ε status). Participants were followed for a median of 4.1 years. Baseline plasma p-tau181 was associated with lower baseline memory (β estimate: -0.49, standard error: 0.06, -value: -7.97), as well as faster rates of memory decline (β estimate: -0.11, standard error: 0.01, -value: -7.37). Moreover, the inclusion of plasma p-tau181 resulted in improved prediction of memory decline beyond clinical and genetic data (marginal of 16.7-23%, χ = 100.81,  < 0.00001). Elevated baseline plasma p-tau181 was associated with higher rates of clinical progression to mild cognitive impairment (hazard ratio = 1.82, 95% confidence interval: 1.2-2.8) and from mild cognitive impairment to dementia (hazard ratio = 2.06, 95% confidence interval: 1.55-2.74). Our results suggest that in elderly individuals without dementia at baseline, plasma p-tau181 biomarkers were associated with greater memory decline and rates of clinical progression to dementia. Plasma p-tau181 improved prediction of memory decline above a model with currently available clinical and genetic data. While the clinical importance of this improvement in the prediction of memory decline is unknown, these results highlight the potential of plasma p-tau181 as a cost-effective and scalable Alzheimer's disease biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcab136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249102PMC
July 2021

Early rise in brain damage markers and high ICOS expression in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during checkpoint inhibitor-induced encephalomyelitis.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jul;9(7)

Department of Oncology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Gothenburg Sahlgrenska Academy, Goteborg, Sweden

We report a case of rapid eradication of melanoma brain metastases and simultaneous near-fatal encephalomyelitis following double immune checkpoint blockade. Brain damage marker S-100B and C reactive protein increased before symptoms or signs of encephalomyelitis and peaked when the patient fell into a coma. At that point, additional brain damage markers and peripheral T cell phenotype was analyzed. The analyses were repeated four times during the patient's recovery. Axonal damage marker neurofilament light polypeptide (NFL) and astrocytic damage marker glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) were very high in blood and cerebrospinal fluid and gradually normalized after immunosuppression and intensive care. The costimulatory receptor inducible T cell costimulatory receptor (ICOS) was expressed on a high proportion of CD4+ and CD8+T cells as encephalomyelitis symptoms peaked and then gradually decreased in parallel with clinical improvement. Both single and double immune checkpoint inhibitor-treated melanoma patients with other serious immune-related adverse events (irAE) (n=9) also expressed ICOS on a significantly higher proportion of CD4+ and CD8+T cells compared with controls without irAE (n=12). In conclusion, our results suggest a potential role for ICOS on CD4+ and CD8+T cells in mediating encephalomyelitis and other serious irAE. In addition, brain damage markers in blood could facilitate early diagnosis of encephalitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002732DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8256743PMC
July 2021

Plasma ACE2 species are differentially altered in COVID-19 patients.

FASEB J 2021 08;35(8):e21745

Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, Universidad Miguel Hernández-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain.

Studies are needed to identify useful biomarkers to assess the severity and prognosis of COVID-19 disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Here, we examine the levels of various plasma species of the SARS-CoV-2 host receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), in patients at different phases of the infection. Human plasma ACE2 species were characterized by immunoprecipitation and western blotting employing antibodies against the ectodomain and the C-terminal domain, using a recombinant human ACE2 protein as control. In addition, changes in the cleaved and full-length ACE2 species were also examined in serum samples derived from humanized K18-hACE2 mice challenged with a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2. ACE2 immunoreactivity was present in human plasma as several molecular mass species that probably comprise truncated (70 and 75 kDa) and full-length forms (95, 100, 130, and 170 kDa). COVID-19 patients in the acute phase of infection (n = 46) had significantly decreased levels of ACE2 full-length species, while a truncated 70-kDa form was marginally higher compared with non-disease controls (n = 26). Levels of ACE2 full-length species were in the normal range in patients after a recovery period with an interval of 58-70 days (n = 29), while the 70-kDa species decreased. Levels of the truncated ACE2 species served to discriminate between individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 and those infected with influenza A virus (n = 17). In conclusion, specific plasma ACE2 species are altered in patients with COVID-19 and these changes normalize during the recovery phase. Alterations in ACE2 species following SARS-CoV-2 infection warrant further investigation regarding their potential usefulness as biomarkers for the disease process and to asses efficacy during vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202100051RDOI Listing
August 2021

Untangling the tau microtubule-binding region.

Brain 2021 Mar;144(2):359-362

UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa468DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8269356PMC
March 2021

CSF Protein Level of Neurotransmitter Secretion, Synaptic Plasticity, and Autophagy in PD and DLB.

Mov Disord 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Center of Neurology, Department of Neurodegeneration and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Background: Molecular pathways associated with α-synuclein proteostasis have been detected in genetic studies and in cell models and include autophagy, ubiquitin-proteasome system, mitochondrial homeostasis, and synaptic plasticity. However, we lack biomarkers that are representative for these pathways in human biofluids.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate CSF protein profiles of pathways related to α-synuclein proteostasis.

Methods: We assessed CSF protein profiles associated with neurotransmitter secretion, synapse plasticity, and autophagy in 2 monocentric cohorts with α-synucleinopathy (385 PD patients and 67 DLB patients). We included 80 PD patients and 17 DLB patients with variants in the glucocerebrosidase gene to serve as proxy for accelerated α-synuclein pathology with pronounced clinical trajectories.

Results: (1) Proteins associated with neurotransmitter secretion, synaptic plasticity, and endolysosomal autophagy were lower in PD and DLB patients compared with healthy controls. (2) These patterns were more pronounced in DLB than in PD patients, accentuated by GBA variant status in both entities. (3) CSF levels of these proteins were positively associated with CSF levels of total α-synuclein, with lower levels of proteostasis proteins related to lower levels of total α-synuclein. (4) These findings could be confirmed longitudinally. PD patients with low CSF profiles of proteostasis proteins showed lower CSF levels of α-synuclein longitudinally compared with PD patients with a normal proteostasis profile.

Conclusion: CSF proteins associated with neurotransmitter secretion, synaptic plasticity, and endolysosomal autophagy might serve as biomarkers related to α-synuclein proteostasis in PD and DLB. © 2021 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28704DOI Listing
June 2021

Dynamics of Selected Biomarkers in Cerebrospinal Fluid During Complex Endovascular Aortic Repair - A Pilot Study.

Ann Vasc Surg 2021 Jun 24. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Surgical Sciences, Section of Vascular Surgery, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Introduction: Ischemic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious complication of complex aortic repair. Prophylactic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage, used to decrease lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure, enables monitoring of CSF biomarkers that may aid in detecting impending SCI. We hypothesized that biomarkers, previously evaluated in traumatic SCI and brain injury, would be altered in CSF over time following complex endovascular aortic repair (cEVAR).

Objectives: To examine if a chosen cohort of CSF biomarker correlates to SCI and warrants further research.

Methods: A prospective observational study on patients undergoing cEVAR with extensive aortic coverage. Vital parameters and CSF samples were collected on ten occasions during 72 hours post-surgery. A panel of ten biomarkers were analyzed (Neurofilament Light Polypeptide (NFL), Tau, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), Soluble Amyloid Precursos Protein (APP) α and β, Amyloid β 38, 40 and 42 (Aβ38, 40 and 42), Chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3LI or YKL-40), Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (H-FABP).).

Results: Nine patients (mean age 69, 7 males) were included. Median total aortic coverage was 68% [33, 98]. One patient died during the 30-day post-operative period. After an initial stable phase for the first few postoperative hours, most biomarkers showed an upward trend compared with baseline in all patients with >50% increase in value for NFL in 5/9 patients, in 7/9 patients for Tau and in 5/9 patients for GFAP. One patient developed spinal cord and supratentorial brain ischemia, confirmed with MRI. In this case, NF-L, GFAP and tau were markedly elevated compared with non-SCI patients (maximum increase compared with baseline in the SCI patient versus mean value of the maximal increase for all other patients: NF-L 367% vs 79%%, GFAP 95608% versus 3433%, tau 1020% vs 192%).

Conclusion: This study suggests an increase in all ten studied CSF biomarkers after coverage of spinal arteries during endovascular aortic repair. However, the pilot study was not able to establish a specific correlation between spinal fluid biomarker elevation and clinical symptoms of SCI due to small sample size and event rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.avsg.2021.04.034DOI Listing
June 2021

Neurochemical biomarkers to study CNS effects of COVID-19: a narrative review and synthesis.

J Neurochem 2021 Jun 25. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Neurological symptoms are frequently reported in patients suffering from COVID-19. Common CNS-related symptoms include anosmia, caused by viral interaction with either neurons or supporting cells in nasal olfactory tissues. Diffuse encephalopathy is the most common sign of CNS dysfunction, which likely results from the CNS consequences of the systemic inflammatory syndrome associated with severe COVID-19. Additionally, microvascular injuries and thromboembolic events likely contribute to the neurologic impact of acute COVID-19. These observations are supported by evidence of CNS immune activation in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in autopsy tissue, along with detection of microvascular injuries in both pathological and neuroimaging studies. The frequent occurrence of thromboembolic events in patients with COVID-19 has generated different hypotheses, among which viral interaction with perivascular cells is particularly attractive, yet unproven. A distinguishing feature of CSF findings in SARS-CoV-2 infection is that clinical signs characteristic of neurotropic viral infections (CSF pleocytosis and blood brain barrier injury) are mild or absent. Moreover, virus detection in CSF is rare, and often of uncertain significance. In this review, we provide an overview of the neurological impact that occur in the acute phase of COVID-19, and the role of CSF biomarkers in the clinical management and research to better treat and understand the disease. In addition to aiding as diagnostic and prognostic tools during acute infection, the use of comprehensive and well characterized CSF and blood biomarkers will be vital in understanding the potential impact on the CNS in the rapidly increasing number of individuals recovering from COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15459DOI Listing
June 2021
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