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Neuropathology. 2012 Oct;32(5):505-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2011.01286.x. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

An MND/ALS phenotype associated with C9orf72 repeat expansion: abundant p62-positive, TDP-43-negative inclusions in cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum but without associated cognitive decline.

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  • 1King's College London, MRC Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, UK. claire.troakes@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

The transactive response DNA binding protein (TDP-43) proteinopathies describe a clinico-pathological spectrum of multi-system neurodegeneration that spans motor neuron disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We have identified four male patients who presented with the clinical features of a pure MND/ALS phenotype (without dementia) but who had distinctive cortical and cerebellar pathology that was different from other TDP-43 proteinopathies. All patients initially presented with weakness of limbs and respiratory muscles and had a family history of MND/ALS. None had clinically identified cognitive decline or dementia during life and they died between 11 and 32 months after symptom onset. Neuropathological investigation revealed lower motor neuron involvement with TDP-43-positive inclusions typical of MND/ALS. In contrast, the cerebral pathology was atypical, with abundant star-shaped p62-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and hippocampus, while TDP-43-positive inclusions were sparse. This pattern was also seen in the cerebellum where p62-positive, TDP-43-negative inclusions were frequent in granular cells. Western blots of cortical lysates, in contrast to those of sporadic MND/ALS and FTLD-TDP, showed high p62 levels and low TDP-43 levels with no high molecular weight smearing. MND/ALS-associated SOD1, FUS and TARDBP gene mutations were excluded; however, further investigations revealed that all four of the cases did show a repeat expansion of C9orf72, the recently reported cause of chromosome 9-linked MND/ALS and FTLD. We conclude that these chromosome 9-linked MND/ALS cases represent a pathological sub-group with abundant p62 pathology in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum but with no significant associated cognitive decline.

© 2011 Japanese Society of Neuropathology.

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PMID:
22181065
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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