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Neuropathology. 2009 Dec;29(6):672-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2009.01029.x. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

TDP-43 is consistently co-localized with ubiquitinated inclusions in sporadic and Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but not in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without SOD1 mutations.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodegeneration Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK.


The transactive response (TAR) DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been recently implicated as a major component of ubiquitinated inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, motor neuron disease: MND) and ALS-related disorders. In this study, we examined abnormal TDP-43 pathology in 13 sporadic ALS (SALS), six familial ALS (FALS) with and without Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mutations (SOD1-FALS and non-SOD1-FALS), Guam ALS, two frontotemporal lobar degeneration with MND/ALS (FTLD-MND/ALS), one FTLD with ubiquitin-only-immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-U) and two progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Sections from the spinal cord were processed for immunohistochemistry using antibodies against TDP-43, ubiquitin, p62, cystatin C, phosphorylated tau protein (P-tau; AT8), alpha-synuclein and phosphorylated neurofilament protein (P-NF). In 12 out of 13 SALS and both Guam ALS cases ubiquitin and p62-immunoreactive (IR) neuronal inclusions co-localized with TDP-43. In three out of four SOD1-FALS and one of two non-SOD1-FALS cases, TDP-43-IR inclusions were absent despite the presence of p62 and/or ubiquitin-IR inclusions. However, a single TDP-43-IR neuronal inclusion co-localized with p62 and ubiquitin in one SOD1-FALS (His48Gln) case. Except for one neuron in a Guam case, all TDP-43-IR neuronal inclusions were negative for P-tau (AT8). TDP-43-IR glial inclusions and neurites were also demonstrated. The TDP-43 is a consistent component of the ubiquitinated inclusions in SALS and Guam ALS, but TDP-43-IR inclusions are absent or scarce in SOD1-FALS.

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