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Cerebrospinal fluid tau and ptau(181) increase with cortical amyloid deposition in cognitively normal individuals: implications for future clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease.

Fagan AM, Mintun MA, Shah AR, Aldea P, Roe CM, Mach RH, Marcus D, Morris JC, Holtzman DM - EMBO Mol Med (2009)

Bottom Line: We observe a strong inverse relationship of cortical PIB binding with CSF Abeta(42) but not for plasma Abeta species.Some individuals have low CSF Abeta(42) but no cortical PIB binding.These findings have important implications for preclinical AD diagnosis and treatment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA. fagana@neuro.wustl.edu

ABSTRACT
Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology is estimated to develop many years before detectable cognitive decline. Fluid and imaging biomarkers may identify people in early symptomatic and even preclinical stages, possibly when potential treatments can best preserve cognitive function. We previously reported that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of amyloid-beta(42) (Abeta(42)) serve as an excellent marker for brain amyloid as detected by the amyloid tracer, Pittsburgh compound B (PIB). Using data from 189 cognitively normal participants, we now report a positive linear relationship between CSF tau/ptau(181) (primary constituents of neurofibrillary tangles) with the amount of cortical amyloid. We observe a strong inverse relationship of cortical PIB binding with CSF Abeta(42) but not for plasma Abeta species. Some individuals have low CSF Abeta(42) but no cortical PIB binding. Together, these data suggest that changes in brain Abeta(42) metabolism and amyloid formation are early pathogenic events in AD, and that significant disruptions in CSF tau metabolism likely occur after Abeta(42) initially aggregates and increases as amyloid accumulates. These findings have important implications for preclinical AD diagnosis and treatment.

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Cortical amyloid as detected by PET PIB and its relationship to CSF Aβ in CDR 0 participants (n = 189)A. A high percentage (84%) of participants with low PIB values (MCBP < 0.18) had high CSF Aβ42 levels (mean (SD) = 705 pg/ml (211)) whereas the vast majority of participants (86%) in the cohort who had high PIB binding (MCBP ≥ 0.18) had low CSF Aβ42 (mean (SD) = 362 pg/ml (115)). Horizontal lines represent the group means, and these means are statistically different from each other (asterisk, p < 0.0001).B. Relationship between CSF Aβ42 levels and cortical amyloid. Most participants had low MCBP values. The vast majority (86%) of participants with MCBPs ≥ 0.18 had low CSF Aβ42 levels. These CDR 0 participants are hypothesized to have preclinical AD. The box outlined by dashed lines identifies the 28 individuals who have low cortical PIB binding (MCBP < 0.18) with low CSF Aβ42. There is a linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and the amount of cortical amyloid although CSF Aβ42 appears to drop and then stay low as the amyloid load increases.C. MRI (left) and PET PIB (right) images of a representative low PIB (MCBP = 0.0270) CDR 0 participant (top panel), a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7790) CDR 0 participant (middle panel), and a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7812) CDR > 0 participant (bottom panel). The amount of cortical PIB binding (yellow-red corresponds to high binding) in the high PIB CDR 0 participant and the high PIB CDR > 0 participant is comparable, whereas there is only background PIB binding (green) in white matter tracks in the low PIB CDR 0 participant.D,E. No relationship between CSF Aβ40 (D) and CSF Aβ38 (E) levels and cortical amyloid was observed in this cognitively normal cohort (r = −0.0287, p = 0.6963; r = 0.06851, p = 0.3515, respectively).F. A negative correlation was found between cortical amyloid and the CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 ratio. All Pearson correlation coefficients are corrected for age. n.s., not significant.
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fig02: Cortical amyloid as detected by PET PIB and its relationship to CSF Aβ in CDR 0 participants (n = 189)A. A high percentage (84%) of participants with low PIB values (MCBP < 0.18) had high CSF Aβ42 levels (mean (SD) = 705 pg/ml (211)) whereas the vast majority of participants (86%) in the cohort who had high PIB binding (MCBP ≥ 0.18) had low CSF Aβ42 (mean (SD) = 362 pg/ml (115)). Horizontal lines represent the group means, and these means are statistically different from each other (asterisk, p < 0.0001).B. Relationship between CSF Aβ42 levels and cortical amyloid. Most participants had low MCBP values. The vast majority (86%) of participants with MCBPs ≥ 0.18 had low CSF Aβ42 levels. These CDR 0 participants are hypothesized to have preclinical AD. The box outlined by dashed lines identifies the 28 individuals who have low cortical PIB binding (MCBP < 0.18) with low CSF Aβ42. There is a linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and the amount of cortical amyloid although CSF Aβ42 appears to drop and then stay low as the amyloid load increases.C. MRI (left) and PET PIB (right) images of a representative low PIB (MCBP = 0.0270) CDR 0 participant (top panel), a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7790) CDR 0 participant (middle panel), and a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7812) CDR > 0 participant (bottom panel). The amount of cortical PIB binding (yellow-red corresponds to high binding) in the high PIB CDR 0 participant and the high PIB CDR > 0 participant is comparable, whereas there is only background PIB binding (green) in white matter tracks in the low PIB CDR 0 participant.D,E. No relationship between CSF Aβ40 (D) and CSF Aβ38 (E) levels and cortical amyloid was observed in this cognitively normal cohort (r = −0.0287, p = 0.6963; r = 0.06851, p = 0.3515, respectively).F. A negative correlation was found between cortical amyloid and the CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 ratio. All Pearson correlation coefficients are corrected for age. n.s., not significant.

Mentions: We next investigated whether the inverse relationship between CSF Aβ42 and cortical PIB binding that we had reported previously in a mixed cohort of mildly demented and non-demented individuals was observed in this cohort of cognitively normal individuals. Overall, 29 participants in this cohort had MCBP values greater than or equal to 0.18 whereas 160 participants had MCBPs below 0.18 (Fig 2A). In individuals with MCBP values greater than 0.18, PIB retention is visualized in the neocortex and appears qualitatively greater than background levels. We continued to observe a robust and linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and cortical amyloid in this group of cognitively normal individuals (Fig 2B). Every participant with high PIB binding had CSF Aβ42 values <582 pg/ml; 86% had CSF Aβ42 values <500 pg/ml. A large majority (84%) of participants with low PIB binding had CSF Aβ42 values >500 pg/ml (Fig 2A). Consistent with our previous findings (Fagan et al, 2006, 2007), many of the CDR 0 participants within this broad age range had little or no cortical amyloid and high mean CSF Aβ42 levels (≥500 pg/ml) (Fig 2B). Twenty-five of the 189 CDR 0 participants displayed the typical AD biomarker phenotype in relation to Aβ, with high PIB binding and low CSF Aβ42 (Fig 2B). In many cases their PET PIB scans were indistinguishable from demented individuals with DAT (CDR > 0) (Fig 2C). In contrast to CSF Aβ42, CSF Aβ40 was not related to the presence or amount of cortical amyloid in these individuals (Fig 2D). Similarly, levels of CSF Aβ38 were not correlated with cortical amyloid load (Fig 2E), but the ratio of CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 was positively correlated with amyloid load (Fig 2F), likely due to the drop in CSF Aβ42 with amyloid deposition.


Cerebrospinal fluid tau and ptau(181) increase with cortical amyloid deposition in cognitively normal individuals: implications for future clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease.

Fagan AM, Mintun MA, Shah AR, Aldea P, Roe CM, Mach RH, Marcus D, Morris JC, Holtzman DM - EMBO Mol Med (2009)

Cortical amyloid as detected by PET PIB and its relationship to CSF Aβ in CDR 0 participants (n = 189)A. A high percentage (84%) of participants with low PIB values (MCBP < 0.18) had high CSF Aβ42 levels (mean (SD) = 705 pg/ml (211)) whereas the vast majority of participants (86%) in the cohort who had high PIB binding (MCBP ≥ 0.18) had low CSF Aβ42 (mean (SD) = 362 pg/ml (115)). Horizontal lines represent the group means, and these means are statistically different from each other (asterisk, p < 0.0001).B. Relationship between CSF Aβ42 levels and cortical amyloid. Most participants had low MCBP values. The vast majority (86%) of participants with MCBPs ≥ 0.18 had low CSF Aβ42 levels. These CDR 0 participants are hypothesized to have preclinical AD. The box outlined by dashed lines identifies the 28 individuals who have low cortical PIB binding (MCBP < 0.18) with low CSF Aβ42. There is a linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and the amount of cortical amyloid although CSF Aβ42 appears to drop and then stay low as the amyloid load increases.C. MRI (left) and PET PIB (right) images of a representative low PIB (MCBP = 0.0270) CDR 0 participant (top panel), a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7790) CDR 0 participant (middle panel), and a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7812) CDR > 0 participant (bottom panel). The amount of cortical PIB binding (yellow-red corresponds to high binding) in the high PIB CDR 0 participant and the high PIB CDR > 0 participant is comparable, whereas there is only background PIB binding (green) in white matter tracks in the low PIB CDR 0 participant.D,E. No relationship between CSF Aβ40 (D) and CSF Aβ38 (E) levels and cortical amyloid was observed in this cognitively normal cohort (r = −0.0287, p = 0.6963; r = 0.06851, p = 0.3515, respectively).F. A negative correlation was found between cortical amyloid and the CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 ratio. All Pearson correlation coefficients are corrected for age. n.s., not significant.
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fig02: Cortical amyloid as detected by PET PIB and its relationship to CSF Aβ in CDR 0 participants (n = 189)A. A high percentage (84%) of participants with low PIB values (MCBP < 0.18) had high CSF Aβ42 levels (mean (SD) = 705 pg/ml (211)) whereas the vast majority of participants (86%) in the cohort who had high PIB binding (MCBP ≥ 0.18) had low CSF Aβ42 (mean (SD) = 362 pg/ml (115)). Horizontal lines represent the group means, and these means are statistically different from each other (asterisk, p < 0.0001).B. Relationship between CSF Aβ42 levels and cortical amyloid. Most participants had low MCBP values. The vast majority (86%) of participants with MCBPs ≥ 0.18 had low CSF Aβ42 levels. These CDR 0 participants are hypothesized to have preclinical AD. The box outlined by dashed lines identifies the 28 individuals who have low cortical PIB binding (MCBP < 0.18) with low CSF Aβ42. There is a linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and the amount of cortical amyloid although CSF Aβ42 appears to drop and then stay low as the amyloid load increases.C. MRI (left) and PET PIB (right) images of a representative low PIB (MCBP = 0.0270) CDR 0 participant (top panel), a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7790) CDR 0 participant (middle panel), and a high PIB (MCBP = 0.7812) CDR > 0 participant (bottom panel). The amount of cortical PIB binding (yellow-red corresponds to high binding) in the high PIB CDR 0 participant and the high PIB CDR > 0 participant is comparable, whereas there is only background PIB binding (green) in white matter tracks in the low PIB CDR 0 participant.D,E. No relationship between CSF Aβ40 (D) and CSF Aβ38 (E) levels and cortical amyloid was observed in this cognitively normal cohort (r = −0.0287, p = 0.6963; r = 0.06851, p = 0.3515, respectively).F. A negative correlation was found between cortical amyloid and the CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 ratio. All Pearson correlation coefficients are corrected for age. n.s., not significant.
Mentions: We next investigated whether the inverse relationship between CSF Aβ42 and cortical PIB binding that we had reported previously in a mixed cohort of mildly demented and non-demented individuals was observed in this cohort of cognitively normal individuals. Overall, 29 participants in this cohort had MCBP values greater than or equal to 0.18 whereas 160 participants had MCBPs below 0.18 (Fig 2A). In individuals with MCBP values greater than 0.18, PIB retention is visualized in the neocortex and appears qualitatively greater than background levels. We continued to observe a robust and linear relationship between CSF Aβ42 and cortical amyloid in this group of cognitively normal individuals (Fig 2B). Every participant with high PIB binding had CSF Aβ42 values <582 pg/ml; 86% had CSF Aβ42 values <500 pg/ml. A large majority (84%) of participants with low PIB binding had CSF Aβ42 values >500 pg/ml (Fig 2A). Consistent with our previous findings (Fagan et al, 2006, 2007), many of the CDR 0 participants within this broad age range had little or no cortical amyloid and high mean CSF Aβ42 levels (≥500 pg/ml) (Fig 2B). Twenty-five of the 189 CDR 0 participants displayed the typical AD biomarker phenotype in relation to Aβ, with high PIB binding and low CSF Aβ42 (Fig 2B). In many cases their PET PIB scans were indistinguishable from demented individuals with DAT (CDR > 0) (Fig 2C). In contrast to CSF Aβ42, CSF Aβ40 was not related to the presence or amount of cortical amyloid in these individuals (Fig 2D). Similarly, levels of CSF Aβ38 were not correlated with cortical amyloid load (Fig 2E), but the ratio of CSF Aβ38/Aβ42 was positively correlated with amyloid load (Fig 2F), likely due to the drop in CSF Aβ42 with amyloid deposition.

Bottom Line: We observe a strong inverse relationship of cortical PIB binding with CSF Abeta(42) but not for plasma Abeta species.Some individuals have low CSF Abeta(42) but no cortical PIB binding.These findings have important implications for preclinical AD diagnosis and treatment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA. fagana@neuro.wustl.edu

ABSTRACT
Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology is estimated to develop many years before detectable cognitive decline. Fluid and imaging biomarkers may identify people in early symptomatic and even preclinical stages, possibly when potential treatments can best preserve cognitive function. We previously reported that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of amyloid-beta(42) (Abeta(42)) serve as an excellent marker for brain amyloid as detected by the amyloid tracer, Pittsburgh compound B (PIB). Using data from 189 cognitively normal participants, we now report a positive linear relationship between CSF tau/ptau(181) (primary constituents of neurofibrillary tangles) with the amount of cortical amyloid. We observe a strong inverse relationship of cortical PIB binding with CSF Abeta(42) but not for plasma Abeta species. Some individuals have low CSF Abeta(42) but no cortical PIB binding. Together, these data suggest that changes in brain Abeta(42) metabolism and amyloid formation are early pathogenic events in AD, and that significant disruptions in CSF tau metabolism likely occur after Abeta(42) initially aggregates and increases as amyloid accumulates. These findings have important implications for preclinical AD diagnosis and treatment.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus