Phosphorylated tau sites that are elevated in Alzheimer's disease fluid biomarkers are visualized in early neurofibrillary tangle maturity levels in the post mortem brain

Christina M. Moloney, Sydney A. Labuzan, Julia E. Crook, Habeeba Siddiqui, Monica Castanedes-Casey, Christian Lachner, Ronald C. Petersen, Ranjan Duara, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Dennis W. Dickson, Michelle M. Mielke, Melissa E. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers are increasingly more reliable in predicting neuropathology. To facilitate interpretation of phosphorylated tau sites as an early fluid biomarker, we sought to characterize which neurofibrillary tangle maturity levels (pretangle, intermediary 1, mature tangle, intermediary 2, and ghost tangle) are recognized. Methods: We queried the Florida Autopsied Multi-Ethnic (FLAME) cohort for cases ranging from Braak stages I through VI, excluding non-AD neuropathologies and tauopathies. Thioflavin-S staining was compared to immunohistochemical measures of phosphorylated threonine (pT) 181, pT205, pT217, and pT231 in two hippocampal subsectors across n = 24 cases. Results: Each phosphorylated tau site immunohistochemically labeled early neurofibrillary tangle maturity levels compared to advanced levels recognized by thioflavin-S. Hippocampal burden generally increased with each Braak stage. Discussion: These results provide neurobiologic evidence that these phosphorylated tau fluid biomarker sites are present during early neurofibrillary tangle maturity levels and may explain why these fluid biomarker measures are observed before symptom onset. Highlights: Immunohistochemical evaluation of four phosphorylated tau fluid biomarker sites. Earlier neurofibrillary tangle maturity levels recognized by phosphorylated tau in proline-rich region. Advanced tangle pathology is elevated in the subiculum compared to the cornu ammonis 1 of the hippocampus. Novel semi-quantitative frequency to calculate tangle maturity frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • biomarker
  • neurofibrillary tangle
  • neuropathology
  • post mortem
  • tau

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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