Objective To evaluate 18F-AV-1451 tau PET binding among microtubule-Associated protein tau (MAPT) mutation carriers. Methods Using a case-control study, we quantitatively and qualitatively compared tau PET scans in 10 symptomatic and 3 asymptomatic MAPT mutation carriers (n = 13, age range 42-67 years) with clinically normal (CN) participants (n = 241, age range 42-67 years) and an Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia cohort (n = 30, age range 52-67 years). Eight participants had MAPT mutations that involved exon 10 (N279K n = 5, S305N n = 2, P301L n = 1) and tend to form 4R tau pathology, and 5 had mutations outside exon 10 (V337M n = 2, R406W n = 3) and tend to form mixed 3R/4R tau pathology. Results Tau PET signal was qualitatively and quantitatively different between participants with AD, CN participants, and MAPT mutation carriers, with the greatest signal intensity in those with AD and minimal regional signal in MAPT mutation carries with mutations in exon 10. However, MAPT mutation carriers with mutations outside exon 10 had uptake levels within the AD range, which was significantly higher than both MAPT mutation carriers with mutations in exon 10 and controls. Conclusions Tau PET shows higher magnitude of binding in MAPT mutation carriers who harbor mutations that are more likely to produce AD-like tau pathology (e.g., in our series, the non-exon 10 families tend to accumulate mixed 3R/4R aggregates). Exon 10 splicing determines the balance of 3R and 4R tau isoforms, with some mutations involving exon 10 predisposing to a greater proportion of 4R aggregates and consequently a lower level of AV-1451 binding, as seen in this case series, thus supporting the notion that this tau PET ligand has specific binding properties for AD-like tau pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology