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Brain Res. 2018 Nov 15;1699:121-134. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.08.014. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Distinctive temporal profiles of detergent-soluble and -insoluble tau and Aβ species in human Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK. Electronic address: d.koss@abdn.ac.uk.
2
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK.
3
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK. Electronic address: b.platt@abdn.ac.uk.

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology relevant proteins tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ) exist as an array of post-translationally modified and conformationally altered species with varying abundance, solubility and toxicity. Insoluble neurofibrillary tau tangles and Aβ plaques are end-stage AD hallmarks, yet may carry less disease significance compared to soluble species. At present, it is unclear how soluble and insoluble tau and Aβ relate to each other as well as to disease progression. Here, detergent soluble and insoluble fractions generated from post-mortem human temporal lobe samples (Brodmann area 21) were probed for tau and Aβ markers in immuno-dot assays. Measures were quantified according to diagnosis (AD cf. Non-AD), neuropathological severity, and correlated with disease progression (Braak stages). All markers were elevated within AD cases cf. non-AD controls (p < 0.05) independent of solubility. However, when considered according to neuropathological severity, phospho-tau (detected via CP13 and AT8 antibodies) was elevated early within the soluble fraction (p < 0.05 intermediate cf. low severity) and emerged only later within the insoluble fraction (p < 0.05 high cf. low severity). In contrast, PHF1 phospho-tau, TOC1 reactive tau oligomers and amyloid markers rose within the two fractions simultaneously. Independent of solubility, cognitive correlations were observed for tau makers and for fibrillary amyloid (OC), however only soluble total Aβ was significantly correlated with intellectual impairment. Following the exclusion of end-stage cases, only soluble total Aβ remained correlated with cognition. The data indicate differential rates of protein aggregation during AD progression and confirm the disease relevance of early emerging soluble Aβ species.

KEYWORDS:

Aggregation; Alzheimer’s disease; Pathology; Tau; β-amyloid

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