Mixed TDP-43 proteinopathy and tauopathy in frontotemporal lobar degeneration: nine case series.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:To determine the clinical, anatomical, genetic and pathological features of dual frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) pathology: FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP-43 in a large clinicopathological cohort. METHODS:We selected subjects with mixed FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau from 247 FTLD cases from the University of California, San Francisco, Neurodegenerative Disease Brain Bank collected between 2000 and 2016 and compared their clinical, anatomical, genetic, imaging and pathological signatures with those of subjects with pure FTLD. RESULTS:We found nine cases (3.6%) with prominent FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau. Six cases were sporadic, whereas one case had a C9ORF72 expansion, another had a TARDBP A90V variant, and the other had an MAPT p.A152T variant. The subtypes of FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau varied. Mixed FTLD cases were older and tended to show a higher burden of Alzheimer disease pathology (3/9, 33%). The neuroimaging signature of mixed cases, in general, included more widespread atrophy than that of pure groups. Specifically, cases of mixed corticobasal degeneration (CBD) with FTLD-TDP showed more prominent asymmetric left-sided atrophy than did those of pure CBD. However, the clinical phenotype of mixed cases was similar to that seen in pure FTLD. CONCLUSIONS:Although patients with mixed FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau are rare, in-depth clinical, pathological and genetic investigations may shed light on the genetic and biochemical pathways that cause the accumulation of multiple proteinaceous inclusions and inform therapeutic targets that may be beneficial to each one of these abnormal protein misfoldings.
Project description:<h4>Aims</h4>Accumulating evidence suggests that patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) can have pathologic accumulation of multiple proteins, including tau and TDP-43. This study aimed to determine the frequency and characteristics of concurrent tau pathology in FTLD with TDP-43 pathology (FTLD-TDP).<h4>Methods</h4>The study included 146 autopsy-confirmed cases of FTLD-TDP and 55 cases of FTLD-TDP with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). Sections from the basal forebrain were screened for tau pathology with phosphorylated-tau immunohistochemistry. For cases with tau pathology on the screening section, additional brain sections were studied to establish a diagnosis. Genetic analysis of C9orf72, GRN and MAPT was performed on select cases.<h4>Results</h4>We found 72 cases (36%) with primary age-related tauopathy (PART), 85 (42%) with ageing-related tau astrogliopathy (ARTAG), 45 (22%) with argyrophilic grain disease (AGD) and 2 cases (1%) with corticobasal degeneration (CBD). Patients with ARTAG or AGD were significantly older than those without these comorbidities. One of the patients with FTLD-TDP and CBD had C9orf72 mutation and relatively mild tau pathology, consistent with incidental CBD.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The coexistence of TDP-43 and tau pathologies was relatively common, particularly PART and ARTAG. Although rare, patients with FTLD can have multiple neurodegenerative proteinopathies. The absence of TDP-43-positive astrocytic plaques may suggest that CBD and FTLD-TDP were independent disease processes in the two patients with both tau and TDP-43 pathologies. It remains to be determined if mixed cases represent a unique disease process or two concurrent disease processes in an individual.
Project description:Importance:Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) core Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarkers have shown an excellent capacity for the in vivo detection of AD. Previous studies have shown that CSF levels of phosphorylated tau (p-tau) also correlate with tau pathology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) after accounting for AD copathology. Objective:To develop an algorithm based on core AD CSF measures to exclude cases with AD pathology and then differentiate between FTLD-tau and FTLD transactive response DNA-binding protein of approximately 43kDa (FTLD-TDP). Design, Setting, and Participants:A case-control study at the University of Pennsylvania. Participants were selected from a database of 1796 patients included between 1992 and 2016 with different neurodegenerative diseases with available CSF. Three patient cohorts were included: a cohort of patients with sporadic, autopsy-confirmed FTLD and AD (n?=?143); a cohort of patients with frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) with TDP-associated or tau-associated mutations (n?=?60); and a living cohort of patients with syndromes highly predictive of FTLD (progressive supranuclear palsy and FTD-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; n?=?62). Main Outcomes and Measures:Cerebrospinal fluid values of amyloid ?1-42 (A?1-42), total tau (t-tau), and p-tau obtained using the INNO-BIA AlzBio3 (xMAP; Luminex) assay or INNOTEST enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay transformed using a previously validated algorithm. Sensitivities and specificities for differentiating AD from FTLD groups were calculated. Results:This autopsy cohort included FTLD-tau (n?=?27; mean [SD] age at onset, 60.8 [9.7] years), FTLD-TDP (n?=?13; mean [SD] age at onset, 62.4 [8.5] years), AD (n?=?89, mean [SD] age at onset, 66.5 [9.7] years); and mixed FTLD-AD (n?=?14, mean [SD] age at onset, 70.6 [8.5] years).The p-tau/A?1-42 ratio showed an excellent diagnostic accuracy to exclude AD cases in the autopsy cohort with single neurodegenerative pathologies (area under the curve [AUC], 0.98; 95% CI, 0.96-1.00). Cerebrospinal fluid p-tau levels showed a good AUC (0.87; 95% CI, 0.73-1.00) for discriminating pure FTLD-TDP from pure FTLD-tau. The application of an algorithm using cutpoints of CSF p-tau to A?1-42 ratio and p-tau allowed a good discrimination of pure FTLD-TDP cases from the remaining FTLD-tau and mixed FTLD cases. The diagnostic value of this algorithm was confirmed in an independent cohort of living patients with progressive supranuclear palsy and FTD-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AUC, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99). However, the algorithm was less useful in FTD cases carrying a pathogenic mutation (AUC, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.38-0.77) owing to elevated p-tau levels in TDP-associated mutation carriers. Conclusions and Relevance:Alzheimer disease CSF core biomarkers can be used with high specificity for the in vivo identification of patients with pure FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau when accounting for comorbid AD and genetic status.
Project description:To characterize in vivo signatures of pathological diagnosis in a large cohort of patients with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) variants defined by current diagnostic classification.Extensive clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging, and neuropathological data were collected from 69 patients with sporadic PPA, divided into 29 semantic (svPPA), 25 nonfluent (nfvPPA), 11 logopenic (lvPPA), and 4 mixed PPA. Patterns of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) atrophy at presentation were assessed and tested as predictors of pathological diagnosis using support vector machine (SVM) algorithms.A clinical diagnosis of PPA was associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with transactive response DNA-binding protein (TDP) inclusions in 40.5%, FTLD-tau in 40.5%, and Alzheimer disease (AD) pathology in 19% of cases. Each variant was associated with 1 typical pathology; 24 of 29 (83%) svPPA showed FTLD-TDP type C, 22 of 25 (88%) nfvPPA showed FTLD-tau, and all 11 lvPPA had AD. Within FTLD-tau, 4R-tau pathology was commonly associated with nfvPPA, whereas Pick disease was observed in a minority of subjects across all variants except for lvPPA. Compared with pathologically typical cases, svPPA-tau showed significant extrapyramidal signs, greater executive impairment, and severe striatal and frontal GM and WM atrophy. nfvPPA-TDP patients lacked general motor symptoms or significant WM atrophy. Combining GM and WM volumes, SVM analysis showed 92.7% accuracy to distinguish FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP pathologies across variants.Each PPA clinical variant is associated with a typical and most frequent cognitive, neuroimaging, and neuropathological profile. Specific clinical and early anatomical features may suggest rare and atypical pathological diagnosis in vivo. Ann Neurol 2017;81:430-443.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Cell biological and genetic evidence implicate failures in degrading aggregating proteins, such as tau and TDP-43, through the autophagy or lysosomal pathways in the pathogenesis of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). METHODS:We investigated changes in the degradative pathways in 60 patients with different pathological or genetic forms of FTLD employing immunohistochemistry for marker proteins such as lysosomal-associated membrane proteins 1 (LAMP-1) and 2 (LAMP-2), cathepsin D (CTSD) and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha (LC3A). Immunostained sections were qualitatively and semi-quantitatively assessed for the appearance, distribution and intensity of staining in neurones of the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA4 region of the hippocampus, and the temporal cortex (Tcx). RESULTS:Lower levels of neuronal LAMP-1 immunostaining were present in the DG and Tcx in FTLD-tau compared to FTLD-TDP. There was less LAMP-1 immunostaining in FTLD-tau with MAPT mutations, and FTLD-tau with Pick bodies, compared to FTLD-TDP types A and B, and less LAMP-1 immunostaining in FTLD-TDP type C than in FTLD-TDP types A and B. There was greater LAMP-1 immunostaining in GRN mutation which may reflect the underlying type A histology rather than mutation. There were no differences in neuronal LAMP-2, CTSD, EEA-1 or LC3A immunostaining between any of the five FTLD histological or four genetic groups, nor between FTLD-TDP and FTLD-tau. CONCLUSIONS:The underlying pathological mechanism in FTLD-tau may lie with a relative deficiency of lysosomes, or defective vesicular transport, whereas the failure to clear TDP-43 aggregates may lie with lysosomal dysfunction rather than a lack of available lysosomes or degradative enzymes.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The combination of high YKL-40 (a glial inflammatory marker) and low sAPP? (a soluble ? fragment of amyloid precursor protein) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in clinical series. We investigate these biomarkers in a neuropathologically confirmed cohort of patients with FTLD. METHODS:CSF samples were selected from the Penn FTD Center (University of Pennsylvania). Participants were followed to autopsy and had a neuropathological diagnosis of FTLD-Tau (n=24), transactive response DNA-binding protein with 43 kDa (FTLD-TDP) (n=25) or Alzheimer's disease (AD, n=97). We compared levels of YKL-40 and sAPP? between groups and with cognitively normal controls (n=77), and assessed their diagnostic utility using receiver operating characteristic curves. We also investigated the effect of AD copathology and the correlation between these CSF markers and tau burden at autopsy. RESULTS:Both FTLD groups had lower levels of sAPP?, higher levels of YKL-40 and lower sAPP?:YKL-40 ratio in CSF compared with controls. The group of pure FTLD-Tau (without AD copathology) showed higher levels of YKL-40 than AD and than pure FTLD-TDP. YKL-40 levels correlated with pathological tau burden. The sAPP?:YKL-40 ratio had an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.91 (95% CI 0.86 to 0.96) to distinguish subjects with FTLD from controls, but lower values to distinguish FTLD from AD (AUC 0.70; 95% ?CI 0.61 to 0.79) and to discriminate FTLD-Tau from FTLD-TDP (AUC 0.67; 95% ?CI 0.51 to 0.82). CONCLUSIONS:Our study provides pathological confirmation that the combination of low sAPP? and high YKL-40 in CSF is associated with FTLD. These biomarkers could be useful in particular clinical settings when FTLD is suspected.
Project description:Frontotemporal lobar degeneration proteinopathies with tau inclusions (FTLD-Tau) or TDP-43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP) are associated with clinically similar phenotypes. However, these disparate proteinopathies likely differ in cellular severity and regional distribution of inclusions in white matter (WM) and adjacent grey matter (GM), which have been understudied. We performed a neuropathological study of subcortical WM and adjacent GM in a large autopsy cohort (n?=?92; FTLD-Tau?=?37, FTLD-TDP?=?55) using a validated digital image approach. The antemortem clinical phenotype was behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) in 23 patients with FTLD-Tau and 42 with FTLD-TDP, and primary progressive aphasia (PPA) in 14 patients with FTLD-Tau and 13 with FTLD-TDP. We used linear mixed-effects models to: (1) compare WM pathology burden between proteinopathies; (2) investigate the relationship between WM pathology burden and WM degeneration using luxol fast blue (LFB) myelin staining; (3) study regional patterns of pathology burden in clinico-pathological groups. WM pathology burden was greater in FTLD-Tau compared to FTLD-TDP across regions (beta?=?4.21, SE?=?0.34, p?<?0.001), and correlated with the degree of WM degeneration in both FTLD-Tau (beta?=?0.32, SE?=?0.10, p?=?0.002) and FTLD-TDP (beta?=?0.40, SE?=?0.08, p?<?0.001). WM degeneration was greater in FTLD-Tau than FTLD-TDP particularly in middle-frontal and anterior cingulate regions (p?<?0.05). Distinct regional patterns of WM and GM inclusions characterized FTLD-Tau and FTLD-TDP proteinopathies, and associated in part with clinical phenotype. In FTLD-Tau, WM pathology was particularly severe in the dorsolateral frontal cortex in nonfluent-variant PPA, and GM pathology in dorsolateral and paralimbic frontal regions with some variation across tauopathies. Differently, FTLD-TDP had little WM regional variability, but showed severe GM pathology burden in ventromedial prefrontal regions in both bvFTD and PPA. To conclude, FTLD-Tau and FTLD-TDP proteinopathies have distinct severity and regional distribution of WM and GM pathology, which may impact their clinical presentation, with overall greater severity of WM pathology as a distinguishing feature of tauopathies.
Project description:Reduction of Tau protein expression was described in 2003 by Zhukareva et al. in a variant of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) referred to as diagnosis of dementia lacking distinctive histopathology, then re-classified as FTLD with ubiquitin inclusions. However, the analysis of Tau expression in FTLD has not been reconsidered since then. Knowledge of the molecular basis of protein aggregates and genes that are mutated in the FTLD spectrum would enable to determine whether the "Tau-less" is a separate pathological entity or if it belongs to an existing subclass of FTLD. To address this question, we have analyzed Tau expression in the frontal brain areas from control, Alzheimer's disease and FTLD cases, including FTLD- Tau (MAPT), FTLD-TDP (sporadic, FTLD-TDP-GRN, FTLD-TDP-C9ORF72) and sporadic FTLD-FUS, using western blot and 2D-DIGE (Two-Dimensional fluorescence Difference Gel Electrophoresis) approaches. Surprisingly, we found that most of the FTLD-TDP-GRN brains are characterized by a huge reduction of Tau protein expression without any decrease in Tau mRNA levels. Interestingly, only cases affected by point mutations, rather than cases with total deletion of one GRN allele, seem to be affected by this reduction of Tau protein expression. Moreover, proteomic analysis highlighted correlations between reduced Tau protein level, synaptic impairment and massive reactive astrogliosis in these FTLD-GRN cases. Consistent with a recent study, our data also bring new insights regarding the role of progranulin in neurodegeneration by suggesting its involvement in lysosome and synaptic regulation. Together, our results demonstrate a strong association between progranulin deficiency and reduction of Tau protein expression that could lead to severe neuronal and glial dysfunctions. Our study also indicates that this FTLD-TDP-GRN subgroup could be part as a distinct entity of FTLD classification.
Project description:TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a major pathological protein of sporadic and familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative inclusions (FTLD-U) with or without motor neuron disease (MND). Thus, TDP-43 defines a novel class of neurodegenerative diseases called TDP-43 proteinopathies. We performed ubiquitin and TDP-43 immunohistochemistry on 193 cases of familial and sporadic FTLD with or without MND. On selected cases, immunoelectron microscopy and biochemistry were performed. Clinically defined frontotemporal dementias (FTDs) included four groups: 1) familial FTD with mutations in progranulin (n = 36), valosin-containing protein (n = 5), charged multivesicular body protein 2B (n = 4), and linked to chromosome 9p (n = 7); 2) familial cases of FTD with unknown gene association (n = 29); 3) sporadic FTD (n = 72); and 4) familial and sporadic FTD with MND (n = 40). Our studies confirm that the spectrum of TDP-43 proteinopathies includes most cases of sporadic and familial FTLD-U with and without MND and expand this disease spectrum to include reported families with FTD linked to chromosome 9p but not FTD with charged multivesicular body protein 2B mutations. Thus, despite significant clinical, genetic, and neuropathological heterogeneity of FTLD-U, TDP-43 is a common pathological substrate underlying a large subset of these disorders, thereby implicating TDP-43 in novel and unifying mechanisms of FTLD pathogenesis.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the second most prevalent dementia in young patients and is characterized by the presence of two main protein aggregates in the brain, tau (FTLD-Tau) or TDP43 (FTLD-TDP), which likely require distinct pharmacological therapy. However, specific diagnosis of FTLD and its subtypes remains challenging due to largely overlapping clinical phenotypes. Here, we aimed to assess the clinical performance of novel cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for discrimination of FTLD and its pathological subtypes.<h4>Methods</h4>YKL40, FABP4, MFG-E8, and the activities of catalase and specific lysosomal enzymes were analyzed in patients with FTLD-TDP (<i>n</i> = 30), FTLD-Tau (<i>n</i> = 20), AD (<i>n</i> = 30), DLB (<i>n</i> = 29), and nondemented controls (<i>n</i> = 29) obtained from two different centers. Models were validated in an independent CSF cohort (<i>n</i> = 188).<h4>Results</h4>YKL40 and catalase activity were increased in FTLD-TDP cases compared to controls. YKL40 levels were also higher in FTLD-TDP compared to FTLD-Tau. We identified biomarker models able to discriminate FTLD from nondemented controls (MFG-E8, tTau, and A<i>β</i> <sub>42</sub>; 78% sensitivity and 83% specificity) and non-FTLD dementia (YKL40, pTau, p/tTau ratio, and age; 90% sensitivity, 78% specificity), which were validated in an independent cohort. In addition, we identified a biomarker model differentiating FTLD-TDP from FTLD-Tau (YKL40, MFGE-8, <i>β</i>HexA together with <i>β</i>HexA/tHex and p/tTau ratios and age) with 80% sensitivity and 82% specificity.<h4>Interpretation</h4>This study identifies CSF protein signatures distinguishing FTLD and the two main pathological subtypes with optimal accuracy (specificity/sensitivity > 80%). Validation of these models may allow appropriate selection of cases for clinical trials targeting the accumulation of Tau or TDP43, thereby increasing their efficiency and facilitating the development of successful therapies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Microglial dysfunction is implicated in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Although studies have reported excessive microglial activation or senescence (dystrophy) in Alzheimer's disease (AD), few have explored this in FTLD. We examined regional patterns of microglial burden, activation and dystrophy in sporadic and genetic FTLD, sporadic AD and controls. METHODS:Immunohistochemistry was performed in frontal and temporal grey and white matter from 50 pathologically confirmed FTLD cases (31 sporadic, 19 genetic: 20 FTLD-tau, 26 FTLD-TDP, four FTLD-FUS), five AD cases and five controls, using markers to detect phagocytic (CD68-positive) and antigen-presenting (CR3/43-positive) microglia, and microglia in general (Iba1-positive). Microglial burden and activation (morphology) were assessed quantitatively for each microglial phenotype. Iba1-positive microglia were assessed semi-quantitatively for dystrophy severity and qualitatively for rod-shaped and hypertrophic morphology. Microglia were compared in each region between FTLD, AD and controls, and between different pathological subtypes of FTLD, including its main subtypes (FTLD-tau, FTLD-TDP, FTLD-FUS), and subtypes of FTLD-tau, FTLD-TDP and genetic FTLD. Microglia were also compared between grey and white matter within each lobe for each group. RESULTS:There was a higher burden of phagocytic and antigen-presenting microglia in FTLD and AD cases than controls, but activation was often not increased. Burden was generally higher in white matter than grey matter, but activation was greater in grey matter. However, microglia varied regionally according to FTLD subtype and disease mechanism. Dystrophy was more severe in FTLD and AD than controls, and more severe in white than grey matter, but this also varied regionally and was particularly extensive in FTLD due to progranulin (GRN) mutations. Presence of rod-shaped and hypertrophic microglia also varied by FTLD subtype. CONCLUSIONS:This study demonstrates regionally variable microglial involvement in FTLD and links this to underlying disease mechanisms. This supports investigation of microglial dysfunction in disease models and consideration of anti-senescence therapies in clinical trials.