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Brain Dev. 2015 Jun;37(6):553-62. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2014.08.010. Epub 2014 Oct 19.

Infantile tauopathies: Hemimegalencephaly; tuberous sclerosis complex; focal cortical dysplasia 2; ganglioglioma.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Department of Pathology (Neuropathology), University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Electronic address: harvey.sarnat@albertahealthservices.ca.
2
Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and Alberta Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

Tau is a normal microtubule-associated protein; mutations to phosphorylated or acetylated forms are neurotoxic. In many dementias of adult life tauopathies cause neuronal degeneration. Four developmental disorders of the fetal and infant brain are presented, each of which exhibits up-regulation of tau. Microtubules are cytoskeletal structures that provide the strands of mitotic spindles and specify cellular polarity, growth, lineage, differentiation, migration and axonal transport of molecules. Phosphorylated tau is abnormal in immature as in mature neurons. Several malformations are demonstrated in which upregulated tau may be important in pathogenesis. All produce highly epileptogenic cortical foci. The prototype infantile tauopathy is (1) hemimegalencephaly (HME); normal tau is degraded by a mutant AKT3 or AKT1 gene as the aetiology of focal somatic mosaicism in the periventricular neuroepithelium. HME may be isolated or associated with neurocutaneous syndromes, particularly epidermal naevus syndromes, also due to somatic mutations. Other tauopathies of early life include: (2) tuberous sclerosis complex; (3) focal cortical dysplasia type 2b (FCD2b); and (4) ganglioglioma, a tumor with dysplastic neurons and neoplastic glial cells. Pathological tau in these infantile cases alters cellular growth and architecture, synaptic function and tissue organization, but does not cause neuronal loss. All infantile tauopathies are defined neuropathologically as a tetrad of (1) dysmorphic and megalocytic neurons; (2) activation of the mTOR signaling pathway; (3) post-zygotic somatic mosaicism; and (4) upregulation of phosphorylated tau. HME and FCD2b may be the same disorder with different timing of the somatic mutation in the mitotic cycles of the neuroepithelium. HME and FCD2b may be the same disorder with different timing of the somatic mutation in the mitotic cycles of the neuroepithelium. Tauopathies must be considered in infantile neurological disease and no longer restricted to adult dementias. The mTOR inhibitor everolimus, already demonstrated to be effective in TSC, also may be a potential treatment in other infantile tauopathies.

KEYWORDS:

Epidermal naevus syndromes; Epilepsy; Everolimus; Focal cortical dysplasia type 2; Ganglioglioma; Hemimegalencephaly; Infantile tauopathies; Postzygotic somatic mosaicism; Proteus syndrome; Tuberous sclerosis complex; mTOR pathway

PMID:
25451314
DOI:
10.1016/j.braindev.2014.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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