Publications by authors named "Irina Alafuzoff"

166 Publications

Gastrointestinal Biopsy Obtained During Cancer Screening, a Biological Marker for α-Synucleinopathy?

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2022 04;81(5):356-362

Department of Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

The hallmark alteration in α-synucleinopathies, α-synuclein, is observed not only in the brain but also in the peripheral tissues, particularly in the intestine. This suggests that endoscopic biopsies performed for colon cancer screening could facilitate the assessment of α-synuclein in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Using immunohistochemistry for α-synuclein, we assessed whether GI biopsies could be used to confirm an ongoing α-synucleinopathy. Seventy-four subjects with cerebral α-synucleinopathy in various Braak stages with concomitant GI biopsies were available for study. In 81% of the subjects, α-synuclein was seen in the mucosal/submucosal GI biopsies. Two subjects with severe cerebral α-synucleinopathy and a long delay between biopsy and death displayed no α-synuclein pathology in the gut, and 11 subjects with sparse cerebral α-synucleinopathy displayed GI α-synuclein up to 36 years prior to death. The finding that there was no GI α-synuclein in 19% of the subjects with cerebral α-synucleinopathy, and α-synuclein was observed in the gut of 11 subjects (15%) with sparse cerebral α-synucleinopathy even many years prior to death is unexpected and jeopardizes the use of assessment of α-synuclein in the peripheral tissue for confirmation of an ongoing cerebral α-synucleinopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlac023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9041339PMC
April 2022

The deletion causes early onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease by altering APP processing and increasing amyloid β fibril formation.

Sci Transl Med 2021 08;13(606)

Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Geriatrics, Uppsala University, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden.

Point mutations in the amyloid precursor protein gene () cause familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) by increasing generation or altering conformation of amyloid β (Aβ). Here, we describe the mutation (Δ690-695), the first reported deletion causing autosomal dominant AD. Affected individuals have an age at symptom onset in their early forties and suffer from a rapidly progressing disease course. Symptoms and biomarkers are typical of AD, with the exception of normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42 and only slightly pathological amyloid-positron emission tomography signals. Mass spectrometry and Western blot analyses of patient CSF and media from experimental cell cultures indicate that the mutation alters APP processing by increasing β-secretase cleavage and affecting α-secretase cleavage. Furthermore, in vitro aggregation studies and analyses of patient brain tissue samples indicate that the longer form of mutated Aβ, AβUpp1-42, accelerates the formation of fibrils with unique polymorphs and their deposition into amyloid plaques in the affected brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abc6184DOI Listing
August 2021

Accumulation of alpha-synuclein within the liver, potential role in the clearance of brain pathology associated with Parkinson's disease.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2021 03 20;9(1):46. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV), Linköping University, 581 85, Linköping, Sweden.

Alpha-synuclein (α-syn) aggregation is the hallmark pathological lesion in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and related neurological disorders characterized as synucleinopathies. Accumulating evidence now indicates that α-syn deposition is also present within the gut and other peripheral organs outside the central nervous system (CNS). In the current study, we demonstrate for the first time that α-syn pathology also accumulates within the liver, the main organ responsible for substance clearance and detoxification. We further demonstrate that cultured human hepatocytes readily internalize oligomeric α-syn assemblies mediated, at least in part, by the gap junction protein connexin-32 (Cx32). Moreover, we identified a time-dependent accumulation of α-syn within the liver of three different transgenic (tg) mouse models expressing human α-syn under CNS-specific promoters, despite the lack of α-syn mRNA expression within the liver. Such a brain-to-liver transmission route could be further corroborated by detection of α-syn pathology within the liver of wild type mice one month after a single striatal α-syn injection. In contrast to the synucleinopathy models, aged mice modeling AD rarely show any amyloid-beta (Aß) deposition within the liver. In human post-mortem liver tissue, we identified cases with neuropathologically confirmed α-syn pathology containing α-syn within hepatocellular structures to a higher degree (75%) than control subjects without α-syn accumulation in the brain (57%). Our results reveal that α-syn accumulates within the liver and may be derived from the brain or other peripheral sources. Collectively, our findings indicate that the liver may play a role in the clearance and detoxification of pathological proteins in PD and related synucleinopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-021-01136-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7980682PMC
March 2021

In vivo Characterization of Biochemical Variants of Amyloid-β in Subjects with Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and Alzheimer's Disease Neuropathological Change.

J Alzheimers Dis 2021 ;80(3):1003-1012

Department of Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Stepwise occurrence of biochemically modified amyloid-β (Aβ) in the brain of subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been suggested to be of significance for cognitive impairment. Our previous reports have shown that Aβ is observed in 63% of all subjects with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) suggesting that the majority of iNPH subjects with Aβ are indeed also suffering from AD.

Objective: We assessed the occurrence of biochemically modified Aβ variants, in vivo, in subjects with iNPH and in a cohort of postmortem brain samples from patients with dementia.

Methods: We assessed Aβ proteins in 127 diagnostic brain biopsies obtained from subjects with iNPH and in a cohort of subjects with dementia by means of immunohistochemistry.

Results: The pyroglutamylated Aβ (pyAβ) precedes the aggregation of phosphorylated Aβ (pAβ) during the AD neuropathological change progression; moreover, these modified variants of Aβ correlate with hyperphosphorylated tau in the frontal cortical area of human brain. Our results confirm the existence of the suggested biochemical stages of Aβ aggregation that might be of significance for neurodegeneration leading to cognitive impairment.

Conclusion: The observation that both pyAβ and pAβ are seen in vivo in iNPH subjects is intriguing. It has been reported that most of the iNPH subjects with Aβ in the brain biopsy indeed develop AD with time. Based on our current and previous results, it is clinically merited to obtain a diagnostic biopsy from a subject with iNPH. When Aβ is observed in the biopsy, the biochemical characterization is of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8150506PMC
September 2021

Mixed Brain Pathology Is the Most Common Cause of Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly.

J Alzheimers Dis 2020 ;78(1):453-465

Department of Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.

Background: Systemic diseases, diabetes mellitus (DM), and cardiovascular disease (CaVD) have been suggested being risk factors for cognitive impairment (CI) and/or influence Alzheimer's disease neuropathologic change (ADNC).

Objective: The purpose was to assess the type and the extent of neuropathological alterations in the brain and to assess whether brain pathology was associated with CaVD or DM related alterations in peripheral organs, i.e., vessels, heart, and kidney.

Methods: 119 subjects, 15% with DM and 24% with CI, age range 80 to 89 years, were chosen and neuropathological alterations were assessed applying immunohistochemistry.

Results: Hyperphosphorylated τ (HPτ) was seen in 99%, amyloid-β (Aβ) in 71%, transactive DNA binding protein 43 (TDP43) in 62%, and α-synuclein (αS) in 21% of the subjects. Primary age related tauopathy was diagnosed in 29% (more common in females), limbic predominant age-related TDP encephalopathy in 4% (14% of subjects with CI), and dementia with Lewy bodies in 3% (14% of subjects with CI) of the subjects. High/intermediate level of ADNC was seen in 47% and the extent of HPτ increased with age. The extent of ADNC was not associated with the extent of pathology observed in peripheral organs, i.e., DM or CaVD. Contrary, brain alterations such as pTDP43 and cerebrovascular lesions (CeVL) were influenced by DM, and CeVL correlated significantly with the extent of vessel pathology.

Conclusion: In most (66%) subjects with CI, the cause of impairment was "mixed pathology", i.e., ADNC combined with TDP43, αS, or vascular brain lesions. Furthermore, our results suggest that systemic diseases, DM and CaVD, are risk factors for CI but not related to ADNC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-200925DOI Listing
September 2021

Modeling SHH-driven medulloblastoma with patient iPS cell-derived neural stem cells.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 3;117(33):20127-20138. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, 171 65 Stockholm, Sweden;

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Here we describe a medulloblastoma model using Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived human neuroepithelial stem (NES) cells generated from a Gorlin syndrome patient carrying a germline mutation in the sonic hedgehog (SHH) receptor We found that Gorlin NES cells formed tumors in mouse cerebellum mimicking human medulloblastoma. Retransplantation of tumor-isolated NES (tNES) cells resulted in accelerated tumor formation, cells with reduced growth factor dependency, enhanced neurosphere formation in vitro, and increased sensitivity to Vismodegib. Using our model, we identified to be a GLI target gene that is up-regulated in both Gorlin tNES cells and SHH-subgroup of medulloblastoma patients. Taken together, we demonstrate that NES cells derived from Gorlin patients can be used as a resource to model medulloblastoma initiation and progression and to identify putative targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1920521117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7443968PMC
August 2020

Cause of death and significant disease found at autopsy.

Virchows Arch 2019 Dec 5;475(6):781-788. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Oncology and Pathology, Lund University, Sölvegatan 25, 221 85, Lund, Sweden.

The use of clinical autopsy has been in decline for many years throughout healthcare systems of developed countries despite studies showing substantial discrepancies between autopsy results and pre-mortal clinical diagnoses. We conducted a study to evaluate over time the use and results of clinical autopsies in Sweden. We reviewed the autopsy reports and autopsy referrals of 2410 adult (age > 17) deceased patients referred to two University hospitals in Sweden during two plus two years, a decade apart. There was a decline in the number of autopsies performed over time, however, mainly in one of the two hospitals. The proportion of autopsy referrals from the emergency department increased from 9 to 16%, while the proportion of referrals from regular hospital wards was almost halved. The autopsies revealed a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, with myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular lesion found in 40% and 19% of all cases, respectively. In a large proportion of cases (> 30%), significant findings of disease were not anticipated before autopsy, as judged from the referral document and additional data obtained in some but not all cases. In accordance with previous research, our study confirms a declining rate of autopsy even at tertiary, academic hospitals and points out factors possibly involved in the decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-019-02672-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6881421PMC
December 2019

Expression of CMV protein pp65 in cutaneous malignant melanoma.

PLoS One 2019 11;14(10):e0223854. Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Human cytomegalovirus (CVM) has been detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in brain tumours; however, whether CMV antigen is seen in melanomas has not yet been elucidated. Applying IHC, melanoma tissue was assessed for the expression of pp65, a tegument protein of CMV. Two cohorts were available, cohort-I and II, the latter included also related metastasis. In addition to IHC, in situ hybridisation (ISH) was carried out to assess whether CMV related genetic sequences were detectable in a subset of cases. Seventy per cent of the 142 cases in cohort-I and 50% of the 37 cases in cohort-II displayed immunoreactivity (IR). In both cohorts, the IHC outcome correlated with T-stage (Cohort I: Spearman 0.22, p = 0.01, Cohort II: Fisher exact text 0.04). In 30 of cohort-II cases, when IHC staining was carried out on both the primary tumour and the corresponding metastasis, no change in IR was noted in 53%; in 20%, the IR was lower and in 27% higher in the metastasis when compared with the primary tumour. These results were significant (Fisher exact test 0.03). Applying ISH technique on four tumour cases with detectable pp65 protein, CMV related genetic sequence was not detected. Here, we demonstrate, congruent with observations published for brain tumours, that the protein pp65 is indeed observed in substantial number of melanoma cases with IHC; however, no signal was detected with ISH technique. These findings are in line with previously reported studies, demonstrating that the role of CMV in tumours is still debatable.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223854PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6788690PMC
March 2020

Predicting Development of Alzheimer's Disease in Patients with Shunted Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

J Alzheimers Dis 2019 ;71(4):1233-1243

Institute of Clinical Medicine - Neurosurgery, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Background: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) patients often develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) related brain pathology. Disease State Index (DSI) is a method to combine data from various sources for differential diagnosis and progression of neurodegenerative disorders.

Objective: To apply DSI to predict clinical AD in shunted iNPH-patients in a defined population.

Methods: 335 shunted iNPH-patients (median 74 years) were followed until death (n = 185) or 6/2015 (n = 150). DSI model (including symptom profile, onset age of NPH symptoms, atrophy of medial temporal lobe in CT/MRI, cortical brain biopsy finding, and APOE genotype) was applied. Performance of DSI model was evaluated with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.

Results: A total of 70 (21%) patients developed clinical AD during median follow-up of 5.3 years. DSI-model predicted clinical AD with moderate effectiveness (AUC = 0.75). Significant factors were cortical biopsy (0.69), clinical symptoms (0.66), and medial temporal lobe atrophy (0.66).

Conclusion: We found increased occurrence of clinical AD in previously shunted iNPH patients as compared with general population. DSI supported the prediction of AD. Cortical biopsy during shunt insertion seems indicated for earlier diagnosis of comorbid AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-190334DOI Listing
November 2020

Alzheimer's disease neuropathological change and loss of matrix/neuropil in patients with idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, a model of Alzheimer's disease.

Acta Neuropathol Commun 2019 05 29;7(1):98. Epub 2019 May 29.

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Rudbeck Laboratory, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, 751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.

Here, we assessed unique brain tissue samples, obtained from living subjects with idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH). Our cohort of 95 subjects with age ranging from 75 to 79 years, displayed a high prevalence of β-amyloid (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated τ (HPτ) pathology (63 and 61%, respectively) in a frontal cortex biopsy obtained during shunt operation. These lesions, i.e., Alzheimer's Disease Neuropathologic Change (ADNC), increased within 5 years and were more frequent in females. The extent of HPτ pathology was sparse, primarily seen as neurites and stained dots. Noteworthy, concomitant pathology was seen in 49% of the whole cohort, indicating a severity of ADNC corresponding to a low/intermediate level following the current recommendations. This observation is predictable as based on previous publications a substantial number of subjects with iNPH over time develop AD. Thus, iNPH can be considered as a model of AD. We noted a surprisingly remarkable neuronal preservation assessing Neuronal Nuclei (NeuN) in parallel with a substantial depletion of matrix/neuropil. This finding is intriguing as it suggests that loss of matrix/neuropil might be one of the first lesion of ADNC but also a hallmark lesion of iNPH. The latter observation is in line with the enlarged ventricles, a cardinal feature of iNPH. Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between the extent of Aβ and NeuN but only in females indicating a neuronal preservation even when Aβ pathology is present. The assessment of a surgical biopsy as described here is certainly informative and thus it is surprising that a neuropathologic assessment in the setting of iNPH, while inserting a shunt, is seldom performed. Here, we observed ADNC and surprisingly remarkable neuronal preservation in a substantial number of iNPH subjects. Thus, these subjects allow us to observe the natural course of the disease and give us an opportunity for intervention at the earliest stages of AD, prior to severe neuronal damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40478-019-0748-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6540414PMC
May 2019

Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE): consensus working group report.

Brain 2019 06;142(6):1503-1527

University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

We describe a recently recognized disease entity, limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE). LATE neuropathological change (LATE-NC) is defined by a stereotypical TDP-43 proteinopathy in older adults, with or without coexisting hippocampal sclerosis pathology. LATE-NC is a common TDP-43 proteinopathy, associated with an amnestic dementia syndrome that mimicked Alzheimer's-type dementia in retrospective autopsy studies. LATE is distinguished from frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 pathology based on its epidemiology (LATE generally affects older subjects), and relatively restricted neuroanatomical distribution of TDP-43 proteinopathy. In community-based autopsy cohorts, ∼25% of brains had sufficient burden of LATE-NC to be associated with discernible cognitive impairment. Many subjects with LATE-NC have comorbid brain pathologies, often including amyloid-β plaques and tauopathy. Given that the 'oldest-old' are at greatest risk for LATE-NC, and subjects of advanced age constitute a rapidly growing demographic group in many countries, LATE has an expanding but under-recognized impact on public health. For these reasons, a working group was convened to develop diagnostic criteria for LATE, aiming both to stimulate research and to promote awareness of this pathway to dementia. We report consensus-based recommendations including guidelines for diagnosis and staging of LATE-NC. For routine autopsy workup of LATE-NC, an anatomically-based preliminary staging scheme is proposed with TDP-43 immunohistochemistry on tissue from three brain areas, reflecting a hierarchical pattern of brain involvement: amygdala, hippocampus, and middle frontal gyrus. LATE-NC appears to affect the medial temporal lobe structures preferentially, but other areas also are impacted. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated that subjects with LATE-NC also had atrophy in the medial temporal lobes, frontal cortex, and other brain regions. Genetic studies have thus far indicated five genes with risk alleles for LATE-NC: GRN, TMEM106B, ABCC9, KCNMB2, and APOE. The discovery of these genetic risk variants indicate that LATE shares pathogenetic mechanisms with both frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Alzheimer's disease, but also suggests disease-specific underlying mechanisms. Large gaps remain in our understanding of LATE. For advances in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, there is an urgent need for research focused on LATE, including in vitro and animal models. An obstacle to clinical progress is lack of diagnostic tools, such as biofluid or neuroimaging biomarkers, for ante-mortem detection of LATE. Development of a disease biomarker would augment observational studies seeking to further define the risk factors, natural history, and clinical features of LATE, as well as eventual subject recruitment for targeted therapies in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz099DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6536849PMC
June 2019

[11C]PIB PET Is Associated with the Brain Biopsy Amyloid-β Load in Subjects Examined for Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

J Alzheimers Dis 2019 ;67(4):1343-1351

Institute of Clinical Medicine, Neurosurgery, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Background: Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is frequently associated with concomitant amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology.

Objective: To compare the [11C]PIB PET uptake in the patients with suspected iNPH to Aβ and hyperphosphorylated-tau (HPτ) in the right frontal cortical biopsy, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ, the response to a CSF shunt, and the final clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Patients (n = 21) from Kuopio NPH Registry (http://www.uef.fi/nph) with intraventricular pressure monitoring, immunostaining for Aβ and HPτ in the right frontal cortical biopsies, and a Mini-Mental State Examination and a Clinical Dementia Rating underwent [11C]PIB PET. Aβ, total tau, and Pτ181 were measured by ELISA from the ventricular (n = 15) and the lumbar (n = 9) CSF. Response to the shunt was seen in 13 out of the 15 shunted patients. AD was diagnosed in 8 patients during a median follow-up of 6 years (mean 7.3±2.4 years, range 3-1).

Results: [11C]PIB uptake in the right frontal cortex (ρ= 0.60, p < 0.01) and the combined neocortical [11C]PIB uptake score (ρ= 0.61, p < 0.01) were associated with a higher Aβ load in the right frontal cortical biopsy. Excluding one (1/15) outlier, [11C]PIB uptake was also associated with the ventricular CSF Aβ (ρ= -0.58, p = 0.03).

Conclusions: The findings show that [11C]PIB PET can reliably detect simultaneous amyloid pathology among the iNPH patients. Further studies will show whether amyloid PET could predict a clinical response to the shunt operation. In addition, the presence of Aβ pathology in the patients with iNPH might also warrant treatment with current AD drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-180645DOI Listing
May 2020

The value of magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a supplement to MRI of the brain in a clinical setting.

PLoS One 2018 15;13(11):e0207336. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Department of Radiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: There are different opinions of the clinical value of MRS of the brain. In selected materials MRS has demonstrated good results for characterisation of both neoplastic and non-neoplastic lesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the supplemental value of MR spectroscopy (MRS) in a clinical setting.

Material And Methods: MRI and MRS were re-evaluated in 208 cases with a clinically indicated MRS (cases with uncertain or insufficient information on MRI) and a confirmed diagnosis. Both single voxel spectroscopy (SVS) and chemical shift imaging (CSI) were performed in 105 cases, only SVS or CSI in 54 and 49 cases, respectively. Diagnoses were grouped into categories: non-neoplastic disease, low-grade tumour, and high-grade tumour. The clinical value of MRS was considered very beneficial if it provided the correct category or location when MRI did not, beneficial if it ruled out suspected diseases or was more specific than MRI, inconsequential if it provided the same level of information, or misleading if it provided less or incorrect information.

Results: There were 70 non-neoplastic lesions, 43 low-grade tumours, and 95 high-grade tumours. For MRI, the category was correct in 130 cases (62%), indeterminate in 39 cases (19%), and incorrect in 39 cases (19%). Supplemented with MRS, 134 cases (64%) were correct, 23 cases (11%) indeterminate, and 51 (25%) incorrect. Additional information from MRS was beneficial or very beneficial in 31 cases (15%) and misleading in 36 cases (17%).

Conclusion: In most cases MRS did not add to the diagnostic value of MRI. In selected cases, MRS may be a valuable supplement to MRI.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207336PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6237369PMC
April 2019

Characteristics of the tissue section that influence the staining outcome in immunohistochemistry.

Histochem Cell Biol 2019 Jan 24;151(1):91-96. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

Rudbeck Laboratory, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University/Uppsala University Hospital, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 20, 751 85, Uppsala, Sweden.

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is influenced by several factors such as cold ischemia time, fixative, fixation time, paraffin, storage time, antibody, antigen retrieval technique and detection systems. In the setting of post-mortem tissue, not only post-mortem delay, but also agonal state is of interest. Here, we assessed an additional variable, i.e., the thickness of the section, and noted that this variable also influenced the IHC outcome. This is of significance when the extent of labelling is a parameter to be assessed, for example when assigning a stage or grade of a disease. Furthermore, when assessing brain tissue with neurons, soma measuring from 4 to 100 µm, various cellular compartments composed of different proteins are localised in sections measuring 4 or 7 µm. Thus, what is seen in a 7-µm-thick section might be lacking in a 4-µm-thick section. Lack of information regarding the molecular size of commercial antibodies is also disturbing as this parameter might influence the distribution of the molecule in the three-dimensional section. The choice of antibody to be used and the staining methodology have been acknowledged being of significance for IHC outcome; however, neither sections thickness or the molecular weight has been discussed sufficiently. IHC has been shown to be an unpredictable technique used for assessment of tissue. This emphasises the need for detailed methodological descriptions in publications, the need to acknowledge and to harmonize all eventual pitfalls related to this methodology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00418-018-1742-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6328518PMC
January 2019

Detection of Changes in Immunohistochemical Stains Caused by Postmortem Delay and Fixation Time.

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol 2019 03;27(3):238-245

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.

In this study, we have systematically assessed the influence of postmortem delay (PMD) and fixation time (FT) on the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining outcome. The IHC method is frequently applied on surgical and postmortem samples in diagnostics and research. To replicate the routine situation, brain tissues from pigs were exposed to either storage in a refrigerator (+8°C), that is, PMD (1 to 168 h), or fixed in 10% buffered formalin, that is, FT (18 to 94 d). Subsequently, the tissue was routinely processed into paraffin blocks to enable construction of tissue microarrays (TMA). Sections cut from the TMA blocks were stained applying 13 different antibodies directed against neuronal and glial antigens. Immunoreactivity applying 5 antibodies was influenced by prolonged PMD and applying 2 antibodies by prolonged FT. None of the staining outcomes related to the PMD or FT were predictable. Loss of TMA cores during processing was primarily influenced by pretreatment and by tissue characteristics (gray/white matter). The test model described here confirmed that these 2 variables, PMD and FT, indeed influence the IHC outcome. The PMD and FT are particularly of importance while assessing tissue samples obtained at autopsy. The result above is also of importance while comparing the IHC outcomes seen in the postmortem setting (various PMD/FT) with surgical samples or with IHC outcome seen in experimental animal setting (controlled PMD/FT). Thus, we suggest that the test model described here is considered when assessing the reliability of the IHC outcome when analyzing tissues with various characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PAI.0000000000000658DOI Listing
March 2019

Epilepsy in neuropathologically verified Alzheimer's disease.

Seizure 2018 May 16;58:9-12. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland.

Purpose: Subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been shown to be at a higher risk for epilepsy. The vast majority of the previous studies have not included a full neuropathological examination.

Methods: The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of epilepsy and clinicopathological characteristics in a well-defined study group of 64 subjects with AD. We evaluated the clinicopathological findings in 64 subjects (mean age at death 85 ± 8.6 years) from a longitudi-nal study cohort of patients with dementia.

Results: Eleven out of the 64 subjects (17%) had a history of epilepsy, which is comparable to previous studies. The subjects with AD and epilepsy were significantly younger at the time of AD diagnosis and at the time of hospitalisation. In addition, their duration of AD was longer. Concomitant neuropathology in addition to AD was common in both groups and the ApoE genotypes did not differ significantly between the groups.

Conclusion: The strength of this study is a thorough neuropathological examination of all study subjects. Our findings support the previous literature regarding the prevalence of epilepsy in subjects with AD. We have shown that the subjects with AD and epilepsy differ significantly from the subjects without epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2018.03.014DOI Listing
May 2018

Minimal neuropathologic diagnosis for brain banking in the normal middle-aged and aged brain and in neurodegenerative disorders.

Authors:
Irina Alafuzoff

Handb Clin Neurol 2018 ;150:131-141

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University; Department of Clinical and Surgical Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital and Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:

Research on human brain diseases is currently often conducted on cell cultures and animals. Several questions however can only be addressed by studying human postmortem brain tissue. However, brain tissue obtained postmortem almost always displays pathology that is often related to the aging phenomenon. Thus, in order to be certain that the answers obtained are reliable, a systematic and thorough assessment of the brain tissue to be studied should be carried out. We are currently aware of several protein alterations that are found in middle-aged and aged brains that are obtained from neurologically unimpaired subjects. The most common alteration is hyperphosphorylation of τ, observed in both neurons and glial cells, in certain brain regions, followed by β-amyloid aggregation in the neuropil and vessel walls. Less common protein alterations are those noted for α-synuclein and Tar DNA-binding protein 43. It is noteworthy that these alterations, when found in excess, are diagnostic for various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, Pick disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, Parkinson disease, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Since 1990, the neuropathology community has been aware that these protein alterations tend to progress in an orderly neuroanatomically defined manner and have thus designed a method to define a stage or a phase of the protein alteration. The neuropathology community has defined an initiation site, or neuroanatomic area that they presume the alteration originates from, and defined a presumed pattern of progression from the initiation site to other brain areas. Thus a reliable and reproducible description of each case regarding these alterations can be achieved. In addition to the above alterations, the brain tissue is also prone to various vascular alterations that should be registered as seen or not seen even if the significance of these alterations is still unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-63639-3.00010-4DOI Listing
August 2018

Progression of Alzheimer's Disease-Related Pathology and Cell Counts in a Patient with Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

J Alzheimers Dis 2018 ;61(4):1451-1462

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Sweden.

We had an opportunity to assess the change observed in the brain regarding Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related alterations, cell count, and inflammation that took place during a period of 21 months in a subject with a definite diagnosis of AD and idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (iNPH). Four neuronal markers, i.e., synaptophysin, microtubule associated protein 2, non-phosphorylated neurofilament H (SMI32), and embryonic lethal abnormal visual system proteins 3/4 HuC/HuD (HuC/HuD); three microglial markers CD68, Human Leucocytic Antigen DR, ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP); and AD-related markers, hyperphosphorylated τ (HPτ) and amyloid-β (Aβ, Aβ40, Aβ42) were assessed. Morphometrically assessed immunoreactivity of all neuronal and all microglial markers and Aβ42 decreased parallel with an increase in the HPτ in the frontal cortex. The expression of GFAP was stable with time. The first sample was obtained during the therapeutic shunting procedure for iNPH, and the second sample was obtained postmortem. Negligible reactive changes were observed surrounding the shunt channel. In conclusion, in the late stage of AD with time, a neuronal loss, increase in the HPτ, and decrease in Aβ42 and microglia was observed, whereas the expression of GFAP was rather stable. The observations described here suggest that when a brain biopsy has been obtained from an adult subject with iNPH, the assessment of postmortem brain is of major significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-170446DOI Listing
January 2019

Incidence, Comorbidities, and Mortality in Idiopathic Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.

World Neurosurg 2018 Apr 31;112:e624-e631. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Neurosurgery of NeuroCenter, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Object: To investigate the incidence, comorbidities, mortality, and causes of death in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH).

Methods: A cohort of 536 patients with possible NPH from a defined population with a median follow-up time of 5.1 years, (range 0.04-19.9 years) was included in the study. Patients were evaluated by brain imaging and intraventricular pressure monitoring, with a brain biopsy specimen immunostained against amyloid-β and hyperphosphorylated τ. Hospital records were reviewed for vascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Death certificates and yearly population of the catchment area were obtained from national registries.

Results: A total of 283 patients had a clinical diagnosis of iNPH, leading to a median annual incidence of 1.58 iNPH patients per 100,000 inhabitants (range, 0.8-4.5). Alzeimer disease-related brain biopsy findings were less frequent in iNPH patients than in non-iNPH patients (P < 0.05). An overrepresentation of hypertension (52% vs. 33%, P < 0.001) and T2DM (23% vs. 13%, P = 0.002) was noted in iNPH patients. Age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.04/year, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.03-1.06, P < 0.001) and T2DM (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.23-2.16, P < 0.001) increased the risk of death in the iNPH patients and in the total population. iNPH was associated with decreased risk of death (HR 0.63, 95% CI 0.50-0.78, P < 0.001). The most frequent causes of death were cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Dementia as a cause of death was more common in non-iNPH patients (27% vs. 10%, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Hypertension and T2DM are common in iNPH and the latter causes excess mortality in the affected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.01.107DOI Listing
April 2018

Slowly progressive dementia caused by MAPT R406W mutations: longitudinal report on a new kindred and systematic review.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2018 01 9;10(1). Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Neurology, Getingevägen 4, 221 85, Lund, Sweden.

Background: The MAPT c.1216C > T (p.Arg406Trp; R406W) mutation is a known cause of frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 tau with Alzheimer's disease-like clinical features.

Methods: We compiled clinical data from a new Swedish kindred with R406W mutation. Seven family members were followed longitudinally for up to 22 years. Radiological examinations were performed in six family members and neuropathological examinations in three. We systematically reviewed the literature and compiled clinical, radiological, and neuropathological data on 63 previously described R406W heterozygotes and 3 homozygotes.

Results: For all cases combined, the median age of onset was 56 years and the median disease duration was 13 years. Memory impairment was the most frequent symptom, behavioral disturbance and language impairment were less common, and Parkinsonism was rare. Disease progression was most often slow. The most frequent clinical diagnosis was Alzheimer's disease. R406W homozygotes had an earlier age at onset and a higher frequency of behavioral symptoms and Parkinsonism than heterozygotes. In the new Swedish kindred, a consistent imaging finding was ventromedial temporal lobe atrophy, which was evident also in early disease stages as a widening of the collateral sulcus with ensuing atrophy of the parahippocampal gyrus. Unlike previously published R406W carriers, all three autopsied patients from the novel family showed neuropathological similarities with progressive supranuclear palsy, with predominant four-repeat (exon 10+) tau isoform (4R) tauopathy and neurofibrillary tangles accentuated in the basal-medial temporal lobe. Amyloid-β pathology was absent.

Conclusions: Dominance of 4R over three-repeat (exon 10-) tau isoforms contrasts with earlier reports of R406W patients and was not sufficiently explained by the presence of H1/H2 haplotypes in two of the autopsied patients. R406W patients often show a long course of disease with marked memory deficits. Both our neuropathological results and our imaging findings revealed that the ventromedial temporal lobes were extensively affected in the disease. We suggest that this area may represent the point of origin of tau deposition in this disease with relatively isolated tauopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-017-0330-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6389050PMC
January 2018

Brain tissue Aβ42 levels are linked to shunt response in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus.

J Neurosurg 2018 01;130(1):121-129

1Department of Neuroscience, Section of Neurosurgery, Uppsala University.

Objective: The authors conducted a study to test if the cortical brain tissue levels of soluble amyloid beta (Aβ) reflect the propensity of cortical Aβ aggregate formation and may be an additional factor predicting surgical outcome following idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) treatment.

Methods: Highly selective ELISAs (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays) were used to quantify soluble Aβ40, Aβ42, and neurotoxic Aβ oligomers/protofibrils, associated with Aβ aggregation, in cortical biopsy samples obtained in patients with iNPH (n = 20), sampled during ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt surgery. Patients underwent pre- and postoperative (3-month) clinical assessment with a modified iNPH scale. The preoperative CSF biomarkers and the levels of soluble and insoluble Aβ species in cortical biopsy samples were analyzed for their association with a favorable outcome following the VP shunt procedure, defined as a ≥ 5-point increase in the iNPH scale.

Results: The brain tissue levels of Aβ42 were negatively correlated with CSF Aβ42 (Spearman’s r = -0.53, p < 0.05). The Aβ40, Aβ42, and Aβ oligomer/protofibril levels in cortical biopsy samples were higher in patients with insoluble cortical Aβ aggregates (p < 0.05). The preoperative CSF Aβ42 levels were similar in patients responding (n = 11) and not responding (n = 9) to VP shunt treatment at 3 months postsurgery. In contrast, the presence of cortical Aβ aggregates and high brain tissue Aβ42 levels were associated with a poor outcome following VP shunt treatment (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Brain tissue measurements of soluble Aβ species are feasible. Since high Aβ42 levels in cortical biopsy samples obtained in patients with iNPH indicated a poor surgical outcome, tissue levels of Aβ species may be associated with the clinical response to shunt treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2017.7.JNS171005DOI Listing
January 2018

Prognostic markers for survival in patients with oligodendroglial tumors; a single-institution review of 214 cases.

PLoS One 2017 29;12(11):e0188419. Epub 2017 Nov 29.

Department of Neuroscience, Neurology, Uppsala University, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: In the 2016 WHO classification, the diagnosis of oligodendroglioma has been restricted to IDH mutated, 1p19q codeleted tumors (IDHmut-codel). IDHmut oligoastrocytoma is now classified either as oligodendroglioma or astrocytoma based on presence of 1p19q codeletion. There is growing evidence that this molecular classification more closely reflects patient outcome. Due to the strong association between IDHmut-codel with oligodendroglial morphology, the additional impact of these markers on prognostic accuracy is largely unknown. Our aim was to assess the prognostic impact of IDHmut-codel in an unselected cohort of morphologically classified oligodendroglial tumors.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of oligodendroglial tumors (WHO grade II and III) operated since 1983. A total of 214 tumors were included, and molecular information was available for 96 tumors. The prognostic impact of IDHmut-codel together with clinical parameters was analyzed by multivariate Cox regression.

Results: IDHmut-codel was registered in 64 tumors while for 150 tumors the molecular profile was negative for IDHmut-codel, unknown or incomplete. Comparison between the two groups showed that patients with IDHmut-codel tumors were younger (42 vs. 48 years), had more frequent frontal tumor location (48 vs. 33%) and presented more often with seizures (72 vs. 51%) and no signs of neurological impairment (14 vs. 30%) than patients harboring tumors with unknown or incomplete molecular profile. Multivariate survival analysis identified young age (HR 1.78 ≥ 40 years), the absence of neurological deficits or personality changes (HR 0.57), frontal tumor location (HR 0.64) and the presence of IDHmut-codel (HR 0.50) as independent predictors for longer survival, whereas tumor grade was not.

Conclusion: In this unselected single-institution cohort, the presence of IDHmut-codel was associated with more beneficial clinical parameters and was identified as an independent prognostic factor. We conclude that the classical oligodendroglioma genotype provides additional prognostic data beyond clinical characteristics, morphology and tumor grade.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0188419PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5706698PMC
December 2017

Preface.

Handb Clin Neurol 2017 ;145:ix

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802395-2.09986-7DOI Listing
September 2018

Comorbidities.

Handb Clin Neurol 2017 ;145:573-577

Institute of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

The term comorbidities or mixed pathologies is used when brain tissue, a surgical sample, or postmortem brain displays a mixture of protein alterations or other pathologies. Most of the alterations when seen in sufficient extent are considered causative, are related to a certain clinical phenotype, i.e., when hyperphosphorylated τ (HPτ) is observed in occipital cortex concomitant with β-amyloid (Aβ), the diagnosis is Alzheimer disease (AD). When HPτ is observed in hippocampal structures in a subject with extensive and widespread α-synuclein pathology, a Lewy body disease (LBD), the HPτ pathology is considered as a concomitant alteration. There are numerous reports indicating that when "concomitant" pathologies are seen in a subject with certain neurodegenerative diseases, the clinical phenotype might be altered. In addition there are those cases where many alterations are seen in a sparse extent, but jointly they lead to a clinical syndrome. Thus today it is not sufficient to confirm a certain pathology to be seen, i.e., AD- or LBD-related; in addition the concomitant aging-related alterations have to be looked for.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802395-2.00036-5DOI Listing
January 2018

Alpha-synucleinopathies.

Handb Clin Neurol 2017 ;145:339-353

Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland and Department of Neurology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

A neurodegenerative disorder displaying an altered α-synuclein (αS) in the brain tissue is called α-synucleinopathy (αS-pathy) and incorporates clinical entities such as Parkinson disease (PD), PD with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and multiple-system atrophy. Neuroradiologic techniques visualizing αS pathology in the brain or assays of αS in the cerebrospinal fluid or blood are probably available and will be implemented in the near future but currently the definite diagnosis of αS-pathy relies on a postmortem examination of the brain. Since the 1980s immunohistochemical technique based on the use of antibodies directed to proteins of interest has become a method of choice for neuropathologic diagnosis. Furthermore, since the 1990s it has been acknowledged that progressions of most neurodegenerative pathologies follow a certain predictable time-related neuroanatomic distribution. Currently, for Lewy body disease, two staging techniques are commonly used: McKeith and Braak staging. Thus, the neuropathologic diagnosis of a αS-pathy is based on detection of altered αS in the tissue and registration of the neuroanatomic distribution of this alteration in the brain. The clinicopathologic correlation is not absolute due to the quite frequent observation of incidental and concomitant αS pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802395-2.00024-9DOI Listing
January 2018

Techniques in neuropathology.

Authors:
Irina Alafuzoff

Handb Clin Neurol 2017 ;145:3-7

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Department of Pathology, Uppsala University Hospital and Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:

The primary objective for a neuropathologist is the characterization of the tissue that is being assessed and thus all available techniques ranging from naked-eye examination to assessment of genetic/epigenetic characteristics are currently applied. What is observed in the tissue obtained from a diseased subject is compared with what is observed in a healthy individual and, based on the outcome, neuropathologic definitions of diseases are constructed. Thus, with the naked eye a neuropathologist can confirm that a hemorrhage is observed in the brain, by histologic examination that the hemorrhage is caused by alterations in the brain vessels and, since 1954, applying Congo red dye neuropathologists have been able to state that congophilic angiopathy is detected. Since 1984, applying immunohistochemical methods neuropathologists have been able to verify that the protein seen in the vessel walls is β-amyloid and by genetic/epigenetic analysis eventual mutation or modifications of genome might be detected. The development of new techniques is staggering and throughout this book the authors have listed techniques currently applied while assessing various disease-related hallmark lesions. In the following a general summary of techniques applied is given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802395-2.00001-8DOI Listing
January 2018

Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging of Gliomas Grades II and III - A Study of Perilesional Tumor Infiltration, Tumor Grades and Subtypes at Clinical Presentation.

Radiol Oncol 2017 Jun 15;51(2):121-129. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

Department of Surgical Sciences, Radiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) allows for assessment of diffusion influenced by microcellular structures. We analyzed DKI in suspected low-grade gliomas prior to histopathological diagnosis. The aim was to investigate if diffusion parameters in the perilesional normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) differed from contralesional white matter, and to investigate differences between glioma malignancy grades II and III and glioma subtypes (astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas).

Patients And Methods: Forty-eight patients with suspected low-grade glioma were prospectively recruited to this institutional review board-approved study and investigated with preoperative DKI at 3T after written informed consent. Patients with histologically proven glioma grades II or III were further analyzed (n=35). Regions of interest (ROIs) were delineated on T2FLAIR images and co-registered to diffusion MRI parameter maps. Mean DKI data were compared between perilesional and contralesional NAWM (student's -test for dependent samples, Wilcoxon matched pairs test). Histogram DKI data were compared between glioma types and glioma grades (multiple comparisons of mean ranks for all groups). The discriminating potential for DKI in assessing glioma type and grade was assessed with receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves.

Results: There were significant differences in all mean DKI variables between perilesional and contralesional NAWM (=<0.000), except for axial kurtosis (=0.099). Forty-four histogram variables differed significantly between glioma grades II (n=23) and III (n=12) (p=0.003-0.048) and 10 variables differed significantly between ACs (n=18) and ODs (n=17) (=0.011-0.050). ROC curves of the best discriminating variables had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.657-0.815.

Conclusions: Mean DKI variables in perilesional NAWM differ significantly from contralesional NAWM, suggesting altered microstructure by tumor infiltration not depicted on morphological MRI. Histogram analysis of DKI data identifies differences between glioma grades and subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/raon-2017-0010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514651PMC
June 2017

U-CAN: a prospective longitudinal collection of biomaterials and clinical information from adult cancer patients in Sweden.

Acta Oncol 2018 Feb 20;57(2):187-194. Epub 2017 Jun 20.

g Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology , Umeå University , Umeå , Sweden.

Background: Progress in cancer biomarker discovery is dependent on access to high-quality biological materials and high-resolution clinical data from the same cases. To overcome current limitations, a systematic prospective longitudinal sampling of multidisciplinary clinical data, blood and tissue from cancer patients was therefore initiated in 2010 by Uppsala and Umeå Universities and involving their corresponding University Hospitals, which are referral centers for one third of the Swedish population.

Material And Methods: Patients with cancer of selected types who are treated at one of the participating hospitals are eligible for inclusion. The healthcare-integrated sampling scheme encompasses clinical data, questionnaires, blood, fresh frozen and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens, diagnostic slides and radiology bioimaging data.

Results: In this ongoing effort, 12,265 patients with brain tumors, breast cancers, colorectal cancers, gynecological cancers, hematological malignancies, lung cancers, neuroendocrine tumors or prostate cancers have been included until the end of 2016. From the 6914 patients included during the first five years, 98% were sampled for blood at diagnosis, 83% had paraffin-embedded and 58% had fresh frozen tissues collected. For Uppsala County, 55% of all cancer patients were included in the cohort.

Conclusions: Close collaboration between participating hospitals and universities enabled prospective, longitudinal biobanking of blood and tissues and collection of multidisciplinary clinical data from cancer patients in the U-CAN cohort. Here, we summarize the first five years of operations, present U-CAN as a highly valuable cohort that will contribute to enhanced cancer research and describe the procedures to access samples and data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2017.1337926DOI Listing
February 2018

Mast Cell Infiltration in Human Brain Metastases Modulates the Microenvironment and Contributes to the Metastatic Potential.

Front Oncol 2017 2;7:115. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Rudbeck Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden.

Metastatic brain tumors continue to be a clinical problem, despite new therapeutic advances in cancer treatment. Brain metastases (BMs) are among the most common mass lesions in the brain that are resistant to chemotherapies, have a very poor prognosis, and currently lack any efficient diagnostic tests. Predictions estimate that about 40% of lung and breast cancer patients will develop BM. Despite this, very little is known about the immunological and genetic aberrations that drive tumorigenesis in BM. In this study, we demonstrate the infiltration of mast cells (MCs) in a large cohort of human BM samples with different tissues of origin for primary cancer. We applied patient-derived BM cell models to the study of BM cell-MC interactions. BM cells when cocultured with MCs demonstrate enhanced growth and self-renewal capacity. Gene set enrichment analyses indicate increased expression of signal transduction and transmembrane proteins related genes in the cocultured BM cells. MCs exert their effect by release of mediators such as IL-8, IL-10, matrix metalloprotease 2, and vascular endothelial growth factor, thereby permitting metastasis. In conclusion, we provide evidence for a role of MCs in BM. Our findings indicate MCs' capability of modulating gene expression in BM cells and suggest that MCs can serve as a new target for drug development against metastases in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2017.00115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454042PMC
June 2017
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