Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Brain Res. 2016 Jan 1;1630:225-40. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.11.007. Epub 2015 Nov 7.

Is phosphorylated tau unique to chronic traumatic encephalopathy? Phosphorylated tau in epileptic brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Author information

  • 1Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; Department of Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, United States.
  • 2Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, United States.
  • 3Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.
  • 4Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States.
  • 5Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; Department of Biology, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH, United States.
  • 6Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States; Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States.
  • 7Department of Biology, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH, United States.
  • 8Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas, NV, United States.
  • 9Flocel Inc., Cleveland, OH 44103, United States.
  • 10University of Rochester Medical Center, NY, United States.
  • 11Flocel Inc., Cleveland, OH 44103, United States; Cerebrovascular Research, Cleveland, OH, United States. Electronic address:


Repetitive traumatic brain injury (rTBI) is one of the major risk factors for the abnormal deposition of phosphorylated tau (PT) in the brain and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) affect the limbic system, but no comparative studies on PT distribution in TLE and CTE are available. It is also unclear whether PT pathology results from repeated head hits (rTBI). These gaps prevent a thorough understanding of the pathogenesis and clinical significance of PT, limiting our ability to develop preventative and therapeutic interventions. We quantified PT in TLE and CTE to unveil whether a history of rTBI is a prerequisite for PT accumulation in the brain. Six postmortem CTE (mean 73.3 years) and age matched control samples were compared to 19 surgically resected TLE brain specimens (4 months-58 years; mean 27.6 years). No history of TBI was present in TLE or control; all CTE patients had a history of rTBI. TLE and CTE brain displayed increased levels of PT as revealed by immunohistochemistry. No age-dependent changes were noted, as PT was present as early as 4 months after birth. In TLE and CTE, cortical neurons, perivascular regions around penetrating pial vessels and meninges were immunopositive for PT; white matter tracts also displayed robust expression of extracellular PT organized in bundles parallel to venules. Microscopically, there were extensive tau-immunoreactive neuronal, astrocytic and degenerating neurites throughout the brain. In CTE perivascular tangles were most prominent. Overall, significant differences in staining intensities were found between CTE and control (P<0.01) but not between CTE and TLE (P=0.08). pS199 tau analysis showed that CTE had the most high molecular weight tangle-associated tau, whereas epileptic brain contained low molecular weight tau. Tau deposition may not be specific to rTBI since TLE recapitulated most of the pathological features of CTE.


American football; Blood–brain barrier; Cognitive decline; Serum markers; Traumatic brain injury

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center