Blood-based analytes as indicators of pathological processes in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Combined proteomic and neuroimaging approach to identify plasma proteins associated with AD pathology.
Discovery-phase proteomic experiments to identify plasma proteins associated with correlates of AD pathology including evidence of atrophy using neuroimaging and more rapid clinical progression, followed by replication using quantitative immunoassay. Extension studies in older non-demented humans using 11C-PiB amyloid imaging and transgenic mice with amyloid pathology.
Multi-center European study, AddNeuroMed, and the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) in United States.
AD patients, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) subjects and healthy controls with standardized clinical assessments and structural neuroimaging. Plasma samples from non-demented older BLSA participants with brain amyloid imaging by PET.
Main outcome measures
Association of plasma proteins with brain atrophy, disease severity and rate of clinical progression. Extension studies in man and transgenic mice tested association between plasma proteins and brain amyloid.
Clusterin/apolipoprotein-J was associated with atrophy of the entorhinal cortex, baseline disease severity and rapid clinical progression in AD. Increased plasma concentration of clusterin was predictive of greater beta amyloid (Aβ) burden in the medial temporal lobe. Subjects with AD had increased clusterin mRNA in blood but there was no effect of SNPs in the gene encoding clusterin (CLU) with gene or protein expression. Finally, APP/PS1 transgenic mice showed increased plasma clusterin, age-dependent increase in brain clusterin and amyloid and clusterin co-localisation in plaques.
Clusterin/apolipoprotein-J is a known amyloid chaperone associated with Alzheimer's disease severity, pathology and progression. Increased plasma concentration of clusterin is also associated with greater burden of fibrillar Aβ in the brain. These results demonstrate an important role of clusterin in the pathogenesis of AD and suggest that alterations in amyloid chaperone proteins may be a biologically relevant peripheral signature of Alzheimer's disease.