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Exp Neurol. 2010 Jun;223(2):371-6. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.07.028. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Abeta1-42 Detection in CSF of Alzheimer's disease is influenced by temperature: indication of reversible Abeta1-42 aggregation?

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Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rome, Italy.


Amyloid-beta 1-42 (Abeta1-42), peptide detectable in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), has been extensively studied as diagnostic marker for Alzheimer's disease; however, results are variable. We investigated whether Abeta1-42 detection in CSF may be affected by handling temperature after lumbar puncture. CSF was collected from patients affected by probable AD (n=27), other dementias (OD) (n=24), or other neurological disorders without cognitive impairment (OND) (n=23). After lumbar puncture, CSF samples were either maintained at 37 degrees C, or handled according to standard procedures and centrifuged at 4 degrees C for 10 min; thereafter, one aliquot was further stored at 4 degrees C and another at 37 degrees C, before freezing all samples 90 min later at -80 degrees C, pending analysis. Abeta1-42 and total tau were determined using a commercially available sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA. Reduced Abeta1-42 and increased total tau CSF levels were confirmed as characteristic hallmarks of the OD and AD groups, providing standard measurement in samples stored at 4 degrees C before freezing. However, avoiding cooling or reheating CSF from 4 to 37 degrees C before freezing strikingly increased the Abeta1-42 concentration detectable in the AD group (P<0.01), but not in control groups. The results indicate that a pool of Abeta1-42 cannot be detectable in the CSF of AD patients, because standard preanalytical cooling masks in some ways the epitope recognized by Abeta1-42 specific antibodies. Moreover, our study suggests that low temperature could induce Abeta1-42 conformational changes and multimeric aggregates in probable AD, but, more importantly, Abeta1-42 aggregation could be reversible.

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