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Brain. 2014 May;137(Pt 5):1533-49. doi: 10.1093/brain/awu046. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Regional distribution of synaptic markers and APP correlate with distinct clinicopathological features in sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease.

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1
1 Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that subcortical structures, including striatum, are vulnerable to amyloid-β accumulation and other neuropathological features in familial Alzheimer's disease due to autosomal dominant mutations. We explored differences between familial and sporadic Alzheimer's disease that might shed light on their respective pathogenic mechanisms. To this end, we analysed 12 brain regions, including neocortical, limbic and subcortical areas, from post-mortem brains of familial Alzheimer's disease (n = 10; age at death: 50.0 ± 8.6 years) with mutations in amyloid precursor protein (APP) or presenilin 1 (PSEN1), sporadic Alzheimer's disease (n = 19; age at death: 84.7 ± 7.8 years), neurologically normal elderly without amyloid-β accumulation (normal ageing; n = 13, age at death: 82.9 ± 10.8 years) and neurologically normal elderly with extensive cortical amyloid-β deposits (pathological ageing; n = 15; age at death: 92.7 ± 5.9 years). The levels of amyloid-β₄₀, amyloid-β₄₂, APP, apolipoprotein E, the synaptic marker PSD95 (now known as DLG4), the astrocyte marker GFAP, other molecules related to amyloid-β metabolism, and tau were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. We observed that familial Alzheimer's disease had disproportionate amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in subcortical areas compared with sporadic Alzheimer's disease, whereas sporadic Alzheimer's disease had disproportionate amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in cortical areas compared to familial Alzheimer's disease. Compared with normal ageing, the levels of several proteins involved in amyloid-β metabolism were significantly altered in both sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease; however, such changes were not present in pathological ageing. Among molecules related to amyloid-β metabolism, the regional distribution of PSD95 strongly correlated with the regional pattern of amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in sporadic Alzheimer's disease and pathological ageing, whereas the regional distribution of APP as well as β-C-terminal fragment of APP were strongly associated with the regional pattern of amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in familial Alzheimer's disease. Apolipoprotein E and GFAP showed negative regional association with amyloid-β (especially amyloid-β₄₀) accumulation in both sporadic and familial Alzheimer's disease. Familial Alzheimer's disease had greater striatal tau pathology than sporadic Alzheimer's disease. In a retrospective medical record review, atypical signs and symptoms were more frequent in familial Alzheimer's disease compared with sporadic Alzheimer's disease. These results suggest that disproportionate amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in cortical areas in sporadic Alzheimer's disease may be mediated by synaptic processes, whereas disproportionate amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation in subcortical areas in familial Alzheimer's disease may be driven by APP and its processing. Region-specific amyloid-β₄₂ accumulation might account for differences in the relative amounts of tau pathology and clinical symptoms in familial and sporadic Alzheimer's disease.

KEYWORDS:

APP; Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; neuroanatomy; synapses

PMID:
24625695
PMCID:
PMC3999719
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awu046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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