Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies: kindred pathologic cascades and genetic pleiotropy.
ABSTRACT: We review the literature on Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies in aged human brains and the relevant underlying pathogenetic cascades. Complex interacting pathways are implicated in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), wherein multiple proteins tend to misfold in a manner that is "reactive," but, subsequently, each proteinopathy may contribute strongly to the clinical symptoms. Tau proteinopathy exists in brains of individuals across a broad spectrum of primary underlying conditions-e.g., developmental, traumatic, and inflammatory/infectious diseases. TDP-43 proteinopathy is also expressed in a wide range of clinical disorders. Although TDP-43 proteinopathy was first described in the central nervous system of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in subtypes of frontotemporal dementia (FTD/FTLD), TDP-43 proteinopathy is also present in chronic traumatic encephalopathy, cognitively impaired persons in advanced age with hippocampal sclerosis, Huntington's disease, and other diseases. We list known Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies. There is also evidence of cellular co-localization between Tau and TDP-43 misfolded proteins, suggesting common pathways or protein interactions facilitating misfolding in one protein by the other. Multiple pleiotropic gene variants can alter risk for Tau or TDP-43 pathologies, and certain gene variants (e.g., APOE ?4, Huntingtin triplet repeats) are associated with increases of both Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies. Studies of genetic risk factors have provided insights into multiple nodes of the pathologic cascades involved in Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies. Variants from a specific gene can be either a low-penetrant risk factor for a group of diseases, or alternatively, a different variant of the same gene may be a disease-driving allele that is associated with a relatively aggressive and early-onset version of a clinically and pathologically specific disease type. Overall, a complex but enlightening paradigm has emerged, wherein both Tau and TDP-43 proteinopathies are linked to numerous overlapping upstream influences, and both are associated with multiple downstream pathologically- and clinically-defined deleterious effects.
Project description:Lewy bodies commonly occur in Alzheimer's disease, and Alzheimer's disease pathology is frequent in Lewy body diseases, but the burden of co-pathologies across neurodegenerative diseases is unknown. We assessed the extent of tau, amyloid-β, α-synuclein and TDP-43 proteinopathies in 766 autopsied individuals representing a broad spectrum of clinical neurodegenerative disease. We interrogated pathological Alzheimer's disease (n = 247); other tauopathies (n = 95) including Pick's disease, corticobasal disease and progressive supranuclear palsy; the synucleinopathies (n = 164) including multiple system atrophy and Lewy body disease; the TDP-43 proteinopathies (n = 188) including frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; and a minimal pathology group (n = 72). Each group was divided into subgroups without or with co-pathologies. Age and sex matched logistic regression models compared co-pathology prevalence between groups. Co-pathology prevalence was similar between the minimal pathology group and most neurodegenerative diseases for each proteinopathy: tau was nearly universal (92-100%), amyloid-β common (20-57%); α-synuclein less common (4-16%); and TDP-43 the rarest (0-16%). In several neurodegenerative diseases, co-pathology increased: in Alzheimer's disease, α-synuclein (41-55%) and TDP-43 (33-40%) increased; in progressive supranuclear palsy, α-synuclein increased (22%); in corticobasal disease, TDP-43 increased (24%); and in neocortical Lewy body disease, amyloid-β (80%) and TDP-43 (22%) increased. Total co-pathology prevalence varied across groups (27-68%), and was increased in high Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and neocortical Lewy body disease (70-81%). Increased age at death was observed in the minimal pathology group, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple system atrophy cases with co-pathologies. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neocortical Lewy body disease, co-pathologies associated with APOE ɛ4. Lewy body disease cases with Alzheimer's disease co-pathology had substantially lower Mini-Mental State Examination scores than pure Lewy body disease. Our data imply that increased age and APOE ɛ4 status are risk factors for co-pathologies independent of neurodegenerative disease; that neurodegenerative disease severity influences co-pathology as evidenced by the prevalence of co-pathology in high Alzheimer's disease and neocortical Lewy body disease, but not intermediate Alzheimer's disease or limbic Lewy body disease; and that tau and α-synuclein strains may also modify co-pathologies since tauopathies and synucleinopathies had differing co-pathologies and burdens. These findings have implications for clinical trials that focus on monotherapies targeting tau, amyloid-β, α-synuclein and TDP-43.
Project description:Transactive response DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathy is the major hallmark of frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is also present in a subset of Alzheimer's disease cases. Recently, few reports showed TDP-43 changes in cognitively normal elderly. In Caucasians, TDP-43 proteinopathy independently correlate with cognitive decline. However, it is challenging to establish direct links between cognitive and/or neuropsychiatric symptoms and protein inclusions in neurodegenerative diseases because individual cognitive reserves modify the threshold for clinical disease expression. Cognitive reserve is influenced by demographic, environmental and genetic factors. We investigated the relationships between demographic, clinical and neuropathological variables and TDP-43 proteinopathy in a large multiethnic sample of cognitively normal elderly. TDP-43 proteinopathy was identified in 10.5%, independently associated with older age (P = 0.03) and Asian ethnicity (P = 0.002). Asians showed a higher prevalence of TDP-43 proteinopathy than Caucasians, even after adjustment for sex, age, Braak stage and schooling (odds ratio = 3.50, confidence interval 1.41-8.69, P = 0.007). These findings suggested that Asian older adults may be protected from the clinical manifestation of brain TDP-43 proteinopathy. Future studies are needed to identify possible race-related protective factors against clinical expression of TDP-43 proteinopathies.
Project description:Pathological changes involving TDP-43 protein ('TDP-43 proteinopathy') are typical for several neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). FTLD-TDP cases are characterized by increased binding of TDP-43 to an abundant lncRNA, NEAT1, in the cortex. However it is unclear whether enhanced TDP-43-NEAT1 interaction represents a protective mechanism. We show that accumulation of human TDP-43 leads to upregulation of the constitutive NEAT1 isoform, NEAT1_1, in cultured cells and in the brains of transgenic mice. Further, we demonstrate that overexpression of NEAT1_1 ameliorates TDP-43 toxicity in <i>Drosophila</i> and yeast models of TDP-43 proteinopathy. Thus, NEAT1_1 upregulation may be protective in TDP-43 proteinopathies affecting the brain. Approaches to boost NEAT1_1 expression in the CNS may prove useful in the treatment of these conditions.
Project description:Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) has been subdivided based on the main pathology found in the brains of affected individuals. When the primary pathology is aggregated, hyperphosphorylated tau, the pathological diagnosis is FTLD-tau. When the primary pathology is cytoplasmic and/or nuclear aggregates of phosphorylated TAR-DNA-binding protein (TDP-43), the pathological diagnosis is FTLD-TDP. Notably, TDP-43 pathology can also occur in conjunction with a number of neurodegenerative disorders; however, unknown environmental and genetic factors may regulate this TDP-43 pathology. Using transgenic mouse models of several diseases of the central nervous system, we explored whether a primary proteinopathy might secondarily drive TDP-43 proteinopathy. We found abnormal, cytoplasmic accumulation of phosphorylated TDP-43 specifically in two tau transgenic models, but TDP-43 pathology was absent in mouse models of Aβ deposition, α-synucleinopathy or Huntington's disease. Though tau pathology showed considerable overlap with cytoplasmic, phosphorylated TDP-43, tau pathology generally preceded TDP-43 pathology. Biochemical analysis confirmed the presence of TDP-43 abnormalities in the tau mice, which showed increased levels of high molecular weight, soluble TDP-43 and insoluble full-length and ~35 kD TDP-43. These data demonstrate that the neurodegenerative cascade associated with a primary tauopathy in tau transgenic mice can also promote TDP-43 abnormalities. These findings provide the first in vivo models to understand how TDP-43 pathology may arise as a secondary consequence of a primary proteinopathy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) proteinopathy in older adults frequently coexists with Alzheimer's disease pathology and hippocampal sclerosis. It is unclear whether there is a link between APOE ?4 and TDP-43 proteinopathy, and the role of APOE ?4 in the association of TDP-43 proteinopathy with hippocampal sclerosis remains to be examined. We investigated the relationships of TDP-43 proteinopathy and hippocampal sclerosis with APOE ?4. METHODS:We used data from two community-based cohort studies of ageing and dementia: the Religious Orders Study (ROS) and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP). A battery of cognitive tests examining multiple cognitive domains is given to ROS-MAP participants each year, and a measure of annual global cognitive function for each participant is derived by averaging Z scores of these tests. The final clinical diagnosis is assigned after death by a neurologist using all available clinical data without access to post-mortem pathology. Amyloid-?, paired helical filament tau, Lewy bodies, TDP-43, and hippocampal sclerosis were microscopically evaluated in the midbrain, medial temporal, and neocortical regions that capture the progression of each neuropathology. TDP-43 proteinopathy topographic stage was recorded as an ordinal variable, and TDP-43 burden was defined by averaging a semi-quantitative six-point scale across six brain regions. The relationships among APOE ?4, TDP-43 proteinopathy, and hippocampal sclerosis were tested with regression models controlled for sex and age at death, and they were further explored with a mediation analysis using the quasi-Bayesian Monte Carlo method. FINDINGS:ROS began data collection in 1994, and MAP began data collection in 1997. The data included in this study were analysed from Jan 16, 2017, to July 12, 2017. When analysis began in January, 2017, a total of 1059 ROS-MAP participants who were deceased had APOE genotype and complete pathological measures for amyloid-?, paired helical filament tau, and TDP-43 proteinopathy stage. After excluding 15 participants with other pathological diagnoses, 1044 participants, 1042 of whom also had measures of Lewy body pathology, were included in this study (470 from ROS and 574 from MAP). APOE ?4 count was associated with higher TDP-43 proteinopathy stage (odds ratio [OR] 2·0, 95% CI 1·6-2·6; p=1·9?×?10-9) and TDP-43 burden (0·40, 0·28-0·52; p=1·2?×?10-10). Amyloid-?, paired helical filament tau, or Lewy body pathology did not fully explain this association. APOE ?4 increased the odds of hippocampal sclerosis (OR 2·1, 95% CI 1·4-3·0; p=1·7?×?10-4); this effect was largely mediated by TDP-43 burden (mediated effect p<1·0?×?10-4) but not directly by APOE ?4 (direct effect p=0·40). APOE ?4 was associated with worse global cognition proximate to death even after adjusting for amyloid-? and paired helical filament tau (estimated effect -0·18, 95% CI -0·31 to -0·04; p=0·010), but this association was attenuated by additionally adjusting for TDP-43 burden (-0·09, -0·22 to 0·04; p=0·18). INTERPRETATION:APOE ?4 seems to increase TDP-43 burden, and this effect in turn was associated with higher odds of hippocampal sclerosis, a pathology potentially downstream of TDP-43 proteinopathy. TDP-43 proteinopathy contributes to the detrimental effect of APOE ?4 on late-life cognition through mechanisms independent of Alzheimer's disease pathology, and future research should consider that TDP-43 proteinopathy might be an integral component of APOE-related neurodegeneration. FUNDING:US National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association.
Project description:The RNA/DNA-binding protein, TDP-43, is the key component of ubiquitinated inclusions characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the majority of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP) referred to collectively as TDP-43 proteinopathies. To further elucidate mechanisms of pathological TDP-43 processing and identify TDP-43 epitopes that could be useful as potential biomarkers of TDP-43 proteinopathies, we developed a panel of novel monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed at regions extending across the length of TDP-43. Here, we confirm previous observations that there is no or minimal accumulation of TDP-43 N-terminal domains in neocortical inclusions in human TDP-43 proteinopathy tissues and we identify a subset of these MAbs that are specific for human versus mouse TDP-43. Notably, one of these MAbs recognized an epitope that preferentially detected pathological TDP-43 inclusions with negligible reactivity for normal nuclear TDP-43 resembling anti-phospho-TDP-43 specific antibodies that only bind pathological TDP-43. Hence, we infer that this new MAb recognizes a phosphorylation independent but disease-specific pathologic conformation in abnormal TDP-43. These data suggest that the novel MAbs reported here will be useful for patient-oriented research as well as for studies of animal and cell-based models of TDP-43 proteinopathies including ALS and FTLD-TDP.
Project description:TDP-43 proteinopathy is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia where cytoplasmic TDP-43 inclusions are observed within degenerating regions of patient postmortem tissue. The mechanism by which TDP-43 aggregates has remained elusive due to technological limitations, which prevent the analysis of specific TDP-43 interactions in live cells. We present an optogenetic approach to reliably induce TDP-43 proteinopathy under spatiotemporal control. We show that the formation of pathologically relevant inclusions is driven by aberrant interactions between low-complexity domains of TDP-43 that are antagonized by RNA binding. Although stress granules are hypothesized to be a conduit for seeding TDP-43 proteinopathy, we demonstrate pathological inclusions outside these RNA-rich structures. Furthermore, we show that aberrant phase transitions of cytoplasmic TDP-43 are neurotoxic and that treatment with oligonucleotides composed of TDP-43 target sequences prevent inclusions and rescue neurotoxicity. Collectively, these studies provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie TDP-43 proteinopathy and present a potential avenue for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>TDP-43 proteinopathy is a pathological hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). So far, there is no therapy available for these neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, the impact of TDP-43 proteinopathy on neuronal translational profile also remains unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>Biochemical, immunohistology and assay-based studies were done with cell cultures and transgenic mice models. We also used Ribotag with microarray and proteomic analysis to determine the neuronal translational profile in the mice model of ALS/FTD.<h4>Results</h4>Here, we report that oral administration of a novel analog (IMS-088) of withaferin-A, an antagonist of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) essential modulator (NEMO), induced autophagy and reduced TDP-43 proteinopathy in the brain and spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing human TDP-43 mutants, models of ALS/FTD. Treatment with IMS-088 ameliorated cognitive impairment, reduced gliosis in the brain of ALS/FTD mouse models. With the Ribotrap method, we investigated the impact of TDP-43 proteinopathy and IMS-088 treatment on the translation profile of neurons of one-year old hTDP-43<sup>A315T</sup> mice. TDP-43 proteinopathy caused translational dysregulation of specific mRNAs including translational suppression of neurofilament mRNAs resulting in 3 to 4-fold decrease in levels type IV neurofilament proteins. Oral administration of IMS-088 rescued the translational defects associated with TDP-43 proteinopathy and restored the synthesis of neurofilament proteins, which are essential for axon integrity and synaptic function.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study revealed that induction of autophagy reduces TDP-43 pathology and ameliorates the translational defect seen in mice models of ALS/FTD. Based on these results, we suggest IMS-088 and perhaps other inducers of autophagy should be considered as potential therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders with TDP-43 proteinopathies.
Project description:Phosphorylated and truncated TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is a major component of ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions in neuronal and glial cells of two TDP-43 proteinopathies, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Modifications of TDP-43 are thus considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of TDP-43 proteinopathies. However, both the initial cause of these abnormal modifications and the TDP-43 region responsible for its aggregation remain uncertain. Here we report that the 32 kDa C-terminal fragment of TDP-43, which lacks the RNP2 motif of RNA binding motif 1 (RRM1), formed aggregates in cultured cells, and that similar phenotypes were obtained when the RNP2 motif was either deleted from or mutated in full-length TDP-43. These aggregations were ubiquitinated, phosphorylated and truncated, and sequestered the 25 kDa C-terminal TDP-43 fragment seen in the neurons of TDP-43 proteinopathy patients. In addition, incubation with RNase decreased the solubility of TDP-43 in cell lysates. These findings suggest that the RNP2 motif of RRM1 plays a substantial role in pathological TDP-43 modifications and that it is possible that disruption of RNA binding may underlie the process of TDP-43 aggregation.
Project description:Neurodegeneration of the locus coeruleus (LC) in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) is well documented. However, detailed studies of LC neurodegeneration in the full spectrum of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) proteinopathies comparing tauopathies (FTLD-tau) to TDP-43 proteinopathies (FTLD-TDP) are lacking. Here, we tested the hypothesis that there is greater LC neuropathology and neurodegeneration in FTLD-tau compared to FTLD-TDP. We examined 280 patients including FTLD-tau (n = 94), FTLD-TDP (n = 135), and two reference groups: clinical/pathological AD (n = 32) and healthy controls (HC, n = 19). Adjacent sections of pons tissue containing the LC were immunostained for phosphorylated TDP-43 (1D3-p409/410), hyperphosphorylated tau (PHF-1), and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) to examine neuromelanin-containing noradrenergic neurons. Blinded to clinical and pathologic diagnoses, we semi-quantitatively scored inclusions of tau and TDP-43 both inside LC neuronal somas and in surrounding neuropil. We also digitally measured the percent area occupied of neuromelanin inside of TH-positive LC neurons and in surrounding neuropil to calculate a ratio of extracellular-to-intracellular neuromelanin as an objective composite measure of neurodegeneration. We found that LC tau burden in FTLD-tau was greater than LC TDP-43 burden in FTLD-TDP (z = - 11.38, p < 0.0001). Digital measures of LC neurodegeneration in FTLD-tau were comparable to AD (z = - 1.84, p > 0.05) but greater than FTLD-TDP (z = - 3.85, p < 0.0001) and HC (z = - 4.12, p < 0.0001). Both tau burden and neurodegeneration were consistently elevated in the LC across pathologic and clinical subgroups of FTLD-tau compared to FTLD-TDP subgroups. Moreover, LC tau burden positively correlated with neurodegeneration in the total FTLD group (rho = 0.24, p = 0.001), while TDP-43 burden did not correlate with LC neurodegeneration in FTLD-TDP (rho = - 0.01, p = 0.90). These findings suggest that patterns of disease propagation across all tauopathies include prominent LC tau and neurodegeneration that are relatively distinct from the minimal degenerative changes to the LC in FTLD-TDP and HC. Antemortem detection of LC neurodegeneration and/or function could potentially improve antemortem differentiation of underlying FTLD tauopathies from clinically similar FTLD-TDP proteinopathies.