Background: We have previously shown that older adults with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) had slightly worse performance in Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) than participants without preclinical AD pathology. Objective: We therefore aimed to compare performance on neurocognitive tests in a population-based sample of 70-year-olds with and without CSF AD pathology. Methods: The sample was derived from the population-based Gothenburg H70 Birth Cohort Studies in Sweden. Participants (n = 316, 70 years old) underwent comprehensive cognitive examinations, and CSF Aβ-42, Aβ-40, T-tau, and P-tau concentrations were measured. Participants were classified according to the ATN system, and according to their Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) score. Cognitive performance was examined in the CSF amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration (ATN) categories. Results: Among participants with CDR 0 (n = 259), those with amyloid (A+) and/or tau pathology (T+, N+) showed similar performance on most cognitive tests compared to participants with A-T-N-. Participants with A-T-N+ performed worse in memory (Supra span (p = 0.003), object Delayed (p = 0.042) and Immediate recall (p = 0.033)). Among participants with CDR 0.5 (n = 57), those with amyloid pathology (A+) scored worse in category fluency (p = 0.003). Conclusion: Cognitively normal participants with amyloid and/or tau pathology performed similarly to those without any biomarker evidence of preclinical AD in most cognitive domains, with the exception of slightly poorer memory performance in A-T-N+. Our study suggests that preclinical AD biomarkers are altered before cognitive decline.
AbstractSpreading of aggregate pathology across brain regions acts as a driver of disease progression in Tau-related neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia. Aggregate seeds released from affected cells are internalized by naïve cells and induce the prion-like templating of soluble Tau into neurotoxic aggregates. Here we show in a cellular model system and in neurons that Clusterin, an abundant extracellular chaperone, strongly enhances Tau aggregate seeding. Upon interaction with Tau aggregates, Clusterin stabilizes highly potent, soluble seed species. Tau/Clusterin complexes enter recipient cells via endocytosis and compromise the endolysosomal compartment, allowing transfer to the cytosol where they propagate aggregation of endogenous Tau. Thus, upregulation of Clusterin, as observed in AD patients, may enhance Tau seeding and possibly accelerate the spreading of Tau pathology.
AbstractNeurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) made of abnormally hyperphosphorylated tau are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related tauopathies. Regional distribution of NFTs is associated with the progression of the disease and has been proposed to be a result of prion-like propagation of misfolded tau. Tau in AD brain is heterogenous and presents in various forms. In the present study, we prepared different tau fractions by sedimentation combined with sarkosyl solubility from AD brains and analyzed their biochemical and pathological properties. We found that tau in oligomeric fraction (O-tau), sarkosyl-insoluble fractions 1 and 2 (SI1-tau and SI2-tau) and monomeric heat-stable fraction (HS-tau) showed differences in truncation, hyperphosphorylation, and resistance to proteinase K. O-tau, SI1-tau, and SI2-tau, but not HS-tau, were hyperphosphorylated at multiple sites and contained SDS- and β-mercaptoethanol–resistant high molecular weight aggregates, which lacked the N-terminal portion of tau. O-tau and SI2-tau displayed more truncation and less hyperphosphorylation than SI1-tau. Resistance to proteinase K was increased from O-tau to SI1-tau to SI2-tau. O-tau and SI1-tau, but not SI2-tau or HS-tau, captured tau from cell lysates and seeded tau aggregation in cultured cells. Heat treatment could not kill the prion-like activity of O-tau to capture normal tau. Hippocampal injection of O-tau into 18-month-old FVB mice induced significant tau aggregation in both ipsilateral and contralateral hippocampi, but SI1-tau only induced tau pathology in the ipsilateral hippocampus, and SI2-tau and HS-tau failed to induce any detectable tau aggregation. These findings suggest that O-tau and SI1-tau have prion-like activities and may serve as seeds to recruit tau and template tau to aggregate, resulting in the propagation of tau pathology. Heterogeneity of tau pathology within AD brain results in different fractions with different biological and prion-like properties, which may pose a major challenge in targeting tau for development of effective therapeutic treatments.