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Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2018 Apr 21;11:53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.dadm.2018.03.003. eCollection 2019 Dec.

Development and validation of a salivary tau biomarker in Alzheimer's disease.

Author information

1
Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada.
2
Lady Davis Institute, Montreal, Québec, Canada.
3
Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Québec, Canada.
4
Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Introduction:

Total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) are abnormally elevated in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Tau is also present in the salivary gland tissue and saliva, and salivary measures might produce an accurate, accessible, and inexpensive biomarker.

Methods:

Using unstimulated saliva and Western blot analysis, we quantified the p-tau/t-tau ratio at different phosphorylation sites.

Results:

We found that for one phosphorylation site, S396, p-tau/t-tau ratio was significantly elevated in patients with AD compared with normal elderly control subjects. The elevation in saliva, however, did not correlate with cerebrospinal fluid tau or with brain measures such as hippocampal volume.

Discussion:

There is significant elevation of p-tau/t-tau ratio for the S396 phosphorylation site. Large variation in the AD salivary tau levels, however, limits the utility of this test as a clinical biomarker.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer; Biomarkers; FTD; Phosphorylation; Tau protein

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