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author:("klenow, Kaj")
1.  Neurological Assessment and Its Relationship to CSF Biomarkers in Amateur Boxers 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99870.
Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion is common in many sports. Today, neuropsychological evaluation is recommended in the monitoring of a concussion and in return-to-play considerations. To investigate the sensitivity of neuropsychological assessment, we tested amateur boxers post bout and compared with controls. Further the relationship between neuropsychological test results and brain injury biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were investigated.
Thirty amateur boxers on high elite level with a minimum of 45 bouts and 25 non-boxing matched controls were included. Memory tests (Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure, Listening Span, Digit Span, Controlled Word Association Test, and computerized testing of episodic memory), tests of processing speed and executive functions (Trail Making, Reaction Time, and Finger Tapping) were performed and related to previously published CSF biomarker results for the axonal injury marker neurofilament light (NFL).
The neurological assessment showed no significant differences between boxers and controls, although elevated CSF NFL, as a sign of axonal injury, was detected in about 80% of the boxers 1–6 days post bout. The investigation of the relationship between neuropsychological evaluation and CSF NFL concentrations revealed that boxers with persisting NFL concentration elevation after at least 14 days resting time post bout, had a significantly poorer performance on Trail Making A (p = 0.041) and Simple Reaction Time (p = 0.042) compared to other boxers.
This is the first study showing traumatic axonal brain injury can be present without measureable cognitive impairment. The repetitive, subconcussive head trauma in amateur boxing causes axonal injury that can be detected with analysis of CSF NFL, but is not sufficient to produce impairment in memory tests, tests of processing speed, or executive functions. The association of prolonged CSF NFL increase in boxers with impairment of processing speed is an interesting observation, which needs to be verified in larger studies.
PMCID: PMC4062456  PMID: 24941067
2.  Neuronal and Glia-Related Biomarkers in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke 
Cerebral ischemia promotes morphological reactions of the neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia in experimental studies. Our aim was to examine the profile of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) biomarkers and their relation to stroke severity and degree of white matter lesions (WML).
A total of 20 patients (mean age 76 years) were included within 5–10 days after acute ischemic stroke (AIS) onset. Stroke severity was assessed using NIHSS (National Institute of Health stroke scale). The age-related white matter changes (ARWMC) scale was used to evaluate the extent of WML on CT-scans. The concentrations of specific CSF biomarkers were analyzed.
Patients with AIS had significantly higher levels of NFL (neurofilament, light), T-tau, myelin basic protein (MBP), YKL-40, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) compared with controls; T-Tau, MBP, GFAP, and YKL-40 correlated with clinical stroke severity, whereas NFL correlated with severity of WML (tested by Mann–Whitney test).
Several CSF biomarkers increase in AIS, and they correlate to clinical stroke severity. However, only NFL was found to be a marker of degree of WML.
PMCID: PMC4039292  PMID: 24932109
stroke; cerebrospinal fluid; WML; neurodegeneration
3.  Levels of cerebrospinal fluid α-synuclein oligomers are increased in Parkinson’s disease with dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies compared to Alzheimer’s disease 
The objective was to study whether α-synuclein oligomers are altered in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with dementia, including Parkinson disease with dementia (PDD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Alzheimer disease (AD), compared with age-matched controls.
In total, 247 CSF samples were assessed in this study, including 71 patients with DLB, 30 patients with PDD, 48 patients with AD, and 98 healthy age-matched controls. Both total and oligomeric α-synuclein levels were evaluated by using well-established immunoassays.
The levels of α-synuclein oligomers in the CSF were increased in patients with PDD compared with the controls (P < 0.05), but not in patients with DLB compared with controls. Interestingly, the levels of α-synuclein oligomers in the CSF were also significantly higher in patients with PDD (P < 0.01) and DLB (P < 0.05) compared with patients with AD. The levels of CSF α-synuclein oligomers and the ratio of oligomeric/total-α-synuclein could distinguish DLB or PDD patients from AD patients, with areas under the curves (AUCs) of 0.64 and 0.75, respectively. In addition, total-α-synuclein alone could distinguish DLB or PDD patients from AD patients, with an AUC of 0.80.
The levels of α-synuclein oligomers were increased in the CSF from α-synucleinopathy patients with dementia compared with AD cases.
PMCID: PMC4075410  PMID: 24987465
4.  CSF biomarker variability in the Alzheimer’s Association quality control program 
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers amyloid beta 1–42, total tau, and phosphorylated tau are used increasingly for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research and patient management. However, there are large variations in biomarker measurements among and within laboratories.
Data from the first nine rounds of the Alzheimer’s Association quality control program was used to define the extent and sources of analytical variability. In each round, three CSF samples prepared at the Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory (Mölndal, Sweden) were analyzed by single-analyte enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a multiplexing xMAP assay, or an immunoassay with electrochemoluminescence detection.
A total of 84 laboratories participated. Coefficients of variation (CVs) between laboratories were around 20% to 30%; within-run CVs, less than 5% to 10%; and longitudinal within-laboratory CVs, 5% to 19%. Interestingly, longitudinal within-laboratory CV differed between biomarkers at individual laboratories, suggesting that a component of it was assay dependent. Variability between kit lots and between laboratories both had a major influence on amyloid beta 1–42 measurements, but for total tau and phosphorylated tau, between-kit lot effects were much less than between-laboratory effects. Despite the measurement variability, the between-laboratory consistency in classification of samples (using prehoc-derived cutoffs for AD) was high (>90% in 15 of 18 samples for ELISA and in 12 of 18 samples for xMAP).
The overall variability remains too high to allow assignment of universal biomarker cutoff values for a specific intended use. Each laboratory must ensure longitudinal stability in its measurements and use internally qualified cutoff levels. Further standardization of laboratory procedures and improvement of kit performance will likely increase the usefulness of CSF AD biomarkers for researchers and clinicians.
PMCID: PMC3707386  PMID: 23622690
Alzheimer’s disease; Cerebrospinal fluid; Biomarkers; External assurance; Quality control; Proficiency testing
5.  Correlation of Specific Amyloid-β Oligomers With Tau in Cerebrospinal Fluid From Cognitively Normal Older Adults 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(5):594-599.
To investigate two specific amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers, Aβ trimers and Aβ*56, in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), evaluate the effects of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and obtain support for the hypothesis that they may be pathogenic by determining their relationships to CSF tau.
A CSF sampling study.
The University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Salhgrenska University Hospital, Sweden.
Older adults with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease (Impaired), age-matched cognitively intact controls (Unimpaired), and younger, normal controls.
Main outcome measures
Measurements of CSF Aβ trimers, Aβ*56, Aβ1-42, total tau (T-tau), and phospho-tau (ptau-181).
We observed that Aβ trimers and Aβ*56 levels increased with age, and within the Unimpaired group were elevated in subjects with T-tau/Aβ1-42 ratios above a cutoff that distinguished the Unimpaired group from AD subjects. In the Unimpaired group, T-tau and ptau-181 were found to correlate strongly with Aβ trimers and Aβ*56 (r > 0.63), but not with Aβ(1-42) (-0.10 < r < -0.01). The strong correlations were found to be attenuated in the Impaired group.
In cognitively intact older adults CSF Aβ trimers and Aβ*56 are elevated in individuals at risk for AD, and show stronger relationships with tau than does Aβ1-42, a surrogate for amyloid deposition. These data support the hypothesis that Aβ trimers or Aβ*56 are pathogenic in preclinical AD. However, the attenuation of these associations in symptomatic subjects suggests an uncoupling between the Aβ oligomers and tau in later stages of AD.
PMCID: PMC3725752  PMID: 23479202
6.  Acute and chronic traumatic encephalopathies: pathogenesis and biomarkers 
Nature reviews. Neurology  2013;9(4):192-200.
Over the past decade, public awareness of the long-term pathological consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has increased. Such awareness has been stimulated mainly by reports of progressive neurological dysfunction in athletes exposed to repetitive concussions in high-impact sports such as boxing and American football, and by the rising number of TBIs in war veterans who are now more likely to survive explosive blasts owing to improved treatment. Moreover, the entity of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)—which is marked by prominent neuropsychiatric features including dementia, parkinsonism, depression, agitation, psychosis, and aggression—has become increasingly recognized as a potential late outcome of repetitive TBI. Annually, about 1% of the population in developed countries experiences a clinically relevant TBI. The goal of this Review is to provide an overview of the latest understanding of CTE pathophysiology, and to delineate the key issues that are challenging clinical and research communities, such as accurate quantification of the risk of CTE, and development of reliable biomarkers for single-incident TBI and CTE.
PMCID: PMC4006940  PMID: 23558985
7.  Performance on a pattern separation task by Alzheimer’s patients shows possible links between disrupted dentate gyrus activity and apolipoprotein E ∈4 status and cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β42 levels 
Emerging evidence suggests that decreased adult hippocampal neurogenesis represents an early critical event in the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In mice, adult neurogenesis is reduced by knock-in alleles for human apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ∈4. Decreased dentate gyrus (DG) neural progenitor cells proliferation has been observed in the triple-transgenic mouse model of AD (3xTg-AD); this reduction being directly associated with the presence of amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques and an increase in the number of Aβ-containing neurons in the hippocampus. Cognitive tasks involving difficult pattern separations have been shown to reflect DG activity and thus potentially neurogenesis in both animals and man. This study involved the administration of a pattern separation paradigm to Alzheimer’s patients to investigate relationships between task performance and both ApoE status and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42 levels.
The CDR System pattern separation task involves the presentation of pictures that must later be discriminated from closely similar pictures. This paper presents pattern separation data from 66 mild to moderate AD patients, of which 50 were genotyped and 65 in whom CSF Aβ42 was measured.
ApoE ∈4 homozygotes were not compromised on the easy pattern separations compared with the other patients, but they were statistically significantly poorer at the difficult separations. In all patients CSF Aβ42 correlated significantly with the ability to make the difficult discriminations, but not easier discriminations. Pattern separation speed correlated negatively with CSF Aβ42, and thus the association was not due to increased impulsivity.
These are, to our knowledge, the first human pattern separation data to suggest a possible genetic link to poor hippocampal neurogenesis in AD, as well as a relationship to Aβ42. Therapies which target neurogenesis may thus be useful in preventing the early stages of AD, notably in ApoE ∈4 homocygotes.
PMCID: PMC4054957  PMID: 24735568
8.  Altered Concentrations of Amyloid Precursor Protein Metabolites in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients with Bipolar Disorder 
Neuropsychopharmacology  2012;38(4):664-672.
Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of mania/hypomania and depression. Progressive cognitive dysfunction such as impairments in executive function and verbal memory is common in euthymic bipolar patients. The cerebrospinal fluid has previously been used to study neurodegenerative processes in Alzheimer's disease, from which changes in three core biomarkers have emerged as indicative of degeneration: amyloid β, total tau, and hyperphosphorylated tau. Here, neurodegeneration in bipolar disorder was investigated by assessing the association between bipolar disorder and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for neurodegenerative processes. Cerebrospinal fluid was obtained from 139 bipolar disorder patients and 71 healthy controls. Concentrations of total and phosphorylated tau, amyloid β1-42, amyloid β38/β40/β42, and the soluble forms of amyloid precursor protein were measured in patients vs controls. The concentrations of the soluble forms of amyloid precursor protein were significantly lower in bipolar patients compared with controls. The amyloid β42/amyloid β38 and the amyloid β42/amyloid β40 ratios were higher in bipolar patients than controls. There were no discernible differences in the concentrations of total/phosphorylated tau, amyloid β1-42, or amyloid β38/β40/β42. The concentrations of the biomarkers within the bipolar patient group were further associated with different ongoing medical treatments and diagnostic subgroups. The findings suggest that the amyloid precursor protein metabolism is altered in bipolar disorder. The results may have implications for the understanding of the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder and for the development of treatment strategies. Importantly, there were no signs of an Alzheimer-like neurodegenerative process among bipolar patients.
PMCID: PMC3572463  PMID: 23212456
amyloid precursor protein; Tau protein; biomarkers; bipolar disorder; cerebrospinal fluid; Biological Psychiatry; Depression; Unipolar/Bipolar; Neurochemistry; Cognition; Bipolar Disorder; Biomarkers; amyloid precursor protein; Tau; cerebrospinal fluid
9.  Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentration and CSF Acetylcholinesterase Activity Are Reduced in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81989.
Little is known of vitamin D concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Alzheimer´s disease (AD) and its relation with CSF acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, a marker of cholinergic function.
A cross-sectional study of 52 consecutive patients under primary evaluation of cognitive impairment and 17 healthy controls. The patients had AD dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) diagnosed with AD dementia upon follow-up (n = 28), other dementias (n = 12), and stable MCI (SMCI, n = 12). We determined serum and CSF concentrations of calcium, parathyroid hormone (PTH), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), and CSF activities of AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE).
CSF 25OHD level was reduced in AD patients (P < 0.05), and CSF AChE activity was decreased both in patients with AD (P < 0.05) and other dementias (P < 0.01) compared to healthy controls. None of the measured variables differed between BuChE K-variant genotypes whereas the participants that were homozygous in terms of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele had decreased CSF AChE activity compared to subjects lacking the APOE ε4 allele (P = 0.01). In AD patients (n=28), CSF AChE activity correlated positively with CSF levels of total tau (T-tau) (r = 0.44, P < 0.05) and phosphorylated tau protein (P-tau) (r = 0.50, P < 0.01), but CSF activities of AChE or BuChE did not correlate with serum or CSF levels of 25OHD.
In this pilot study, both CSF 25OHD level and CSF AChE activity were reduced in AD patients. However, the lack of correlations between 25OHD levels and CSF activities of AChE or BuChE might suggest different mechanisms of action, which could have implications for treatment trials.
PMCID: PMC3843721  PMID: 24312390
10.  Increased CSF Levels of Phosphorylated Neurofilament Heavy Protein following Bout in Amateur Boxers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e81249.
Diagnosis of mild TBI is hampered by the lack of imaging or biochemical measurements for identifying or quantifying mild TBI in a clinical setting. We have previously shown increased biomarker levels of protein reflecting axonal (neurofilament light protein and tau) and glial (GFAP and S-100B) damage in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) after a boxing bout. The aims of this study were to find other biomarkers of mild TBI, which may help clinicians diagnose and monitor mild TBI, and to calculate the role of APOE ε4 allele genotype which has been associated with poor outcome after TBI.
Materials and Methods
Thirty amateur boxers with a minimum of 45 bouts and 25 non-boxing matched controls were included in a prospective cohort study. CSF and blood were collected at one occasion between 1 and 6 days after a bout, and after a rest period for at least 14 days (follow up). The controls were tested once. CSF levels of neurofilament heavy (pNFH), amyloid precursor proteins (sAPPα and sAPPβ), ApoE and ApoA1 were analyzed. In blood, plasma levels of Aβ42 and ApoE genotype were analyzed.
CSF levels of pNFH were significantly increased between 1 and 6 days after boxing as compared with controls (p<0.001). The concentrations decreased at follow up but were still significantly increased compared to controls (p = 0.018). CSF pNFH concentrations correlated with NFL (r =  0.57 after bout and 0.64 at follow up, p<0.001). No significant change was found in the other biomarkers, as compared to controls. Boxers carrying the APOE ε4 allele had similar biomarker concentrations as non-carriers.
Subconcussive repetitive trauma in amateur boxing causes a mild TBI that may be diagnosed by CSF analysis of pNFH, even without unconsciousness or concussion symptoms. Possession of the APOE ε4 allele was not found to influence biomarker levels after acute TBI.
PMCID: PMC3829937  PMID: 24260563
11.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for Alzheimer disease and subcortical axonal damage in 5,542 clinical samples 
The neuronal loss in Alzheimer disease (AD) has been described to affect grey matter in the cerebral cortex. However, in the elderly, AD pathology is likely to occur together with subcortical axonal degeneration on the basis of cerebrovascular disease. Therefore, we hypothesized that biomarkers for AD and subcortical axonal degeneration would correlate in patients undergoing testing for dementia biomarkers, particularly in older age groups.
We performed correlation and cluster analyses of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker data from 5,542 CSF samples analyzed in our routine clinical neurochemistry laboratory in 2010 through 2012 for the established CSF AD biomarkers total tau (T-tau), phosphorylated-tau (P-tau), amyloid β1-42 (Aβ42), and for neurofilament light (NFL), which is a protein expressed in large-caliber myelinated axons, the CSF levels of which correlate with subcortical axonal injury.
Aβ42, T-tau, and P-tau correlated with NFL. By cluster analysis, we found a bimodal data distribution in which a group with a low Aβ42/P-tau ratio (suggesting AD pathology) had high levels of NFL. High levels of NFL also correlated with the presence of an AD biomarker pattern defined by Aβ42/P-tau and T-tau. Only 29% of those with an AD biomarker signature had normal NFL levels. Age was a possible confounding factor for the associations between NFL and established AD biomarkers, but in a logistic regression analysis, both age and NFL independently predicted the AD biomarker pattern.
The association between an AD-like signature using the established biomarkers Aβ42, T-tau, and P-tau with increased levels of NFL provides in vivo evidence of an association between AD and subcortical axonal degeneration in this uniquely large dataset of CSF samples tested for dementia biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC3978733  PMID: 24479774
12.  Lysosomal Network Proteins as Potential Novel CSF Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease 
Neuromolecular Medicine  2013;16:150-160.
The success of future intervention strategies for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will likely rely on the development of treatments starting early in the disease course, before irreversible brain damage occurs. The pre-symptomatic stage of AD occurs at least one decade before the clinical onset, highlighting the need for validated biomarkers that reflect this early period. Reliable biomarkers for AD are also needed in research and clinics for diagnosis, patient stratification, clinical trials, monitoring of disease progression and the development of new treatments. Changes in the lysosomal network, i.e., the endosomal, lysosomal and autophagy systems, are among the first alterations observed in an AD brain. In this study, we performed a targeted search for lysosomal network proteins in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Thirty-four proteins were investigated, and six of them, early endosomal antigen 1 (EEA1), lysosomal-associated membrane proteins 1 and 2 (LAMP-1, LAMP-2), microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3), Rab3 and Rab7, were significantly increased in the CSF from AD patients compared with neurological controls. These results were confirmed in a validation cohort of CSF samples, and patients with no neurochemical evidence of AD, apart from increased total-tau, were found to have EEA1 levels corresponding to the increased total-tau levels. These findings indicate that increased levels of LAMP-1, LAMP-2, LC3, Rab3 and Rab7 in the CSF might be specific for AD, and increased EEA1 levels may be a sign of general neurodegeneration. These six lysosomal network proteins are potential AD biomarkers and may be used to investigate lysosomal involvement in AD pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3918123  PMID: 24101586
PICALM; DRAM; TFEB; Cathepsins; Proteasome; hsc70
13.  Characterization of Novel CSF Tau and ptau Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76523.
Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42, tau and p181tau are widely accepted biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Numerous studies show that CSF tau and p181tau levels are elevated in mild-to-moderate AD compared to age-matched controls. In addition, these increases might predict preclinical AD in cognitively normal elderly. Despite their importance as biomarkers, the molecular nature of CSF tau and ptau is not known. In the current study, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography was used to enrich and concentrate tau prior to western-blot analysis. Multiple N-terminal and mid-domain fragments of tau were detected in pooled CSF with apparent sizes ranging from <20 kDa to ~40 kDa. The pattern of tau fragments in AD and control samples were similar. In contrast, full-length tau and C-terminal-containing fragments were not detected. To quantify levels, five tau ELISAs and three ptau ELISAs were developed to detect different overlapping regions of the protein. The discriminatory potential of each assay was determined using 20 AD and 20 age-matched control CSF samples. Of the tau ELISAs, the two assays specific for tau containing N-terminal sequences, amino acids 9-198 (numbering based on tau 441) and 9-163, exhibited the most significant differences between AD and control samples. In contrast, CSF tau was not detected with an ELISA specific for a more C-terminal region (amino acids 159-335). Significant discrimination was also observed with ptau assays measuring amino acids 159-p181 and 159-p231. Interestingly, the discriminatory potential of p181 was reduced when measured in the context of tau species containing amino acids 9-p181. Taken together, these results demonstrate that tau in CSF occurs as a series of fragments and that discrimination of AD from control is dependent on the subset of tau species measured. These assays provide novel tools to investigate CSF tau and ptau as biomarkers for other neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3792042  PMID: 24116116
14.  Heart fatty acid binding protein and Aβ-associated Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration 
Epidemiological and molecular findings suggest a relationship between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dyslipidemia, although the nature of this association is not well understood.
Using linear mixed effects models, we investigated the relationship between CSF levels of heart fatty acid binding protein (HFABP), a lipid binding protein involved with fatty acid metabolism and lipid transport, amyloid-β (Aβ), phospho-tau, and longitudinal MRI-based measures of brain atrophy among 295 non-demented and demented older individuals. Across all participants, we found a significant association of CSF HFABP with longitudinal atrophy of the entorhinal cortex and other AD-vulnerable neuroanatomic regions. However, we found that the relationship between CSF HABP and brain atrophy was significant only among those with low CSF Aβ1–42 and occurred irrespective of phospho-tau181p status.
Our findings indicate that Aβ-associated volume loss occurs in the presence of elevated HFABP irrespective of phospho-tau. This implicates a potentially important role for fatty acid binding proteins in Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration.
PMCID: PMC3850652  PMID: 24088526
Alzheimer’s disease; Fatty acids; Lipids; Amyloid; Tau; Brain atrophy
16.  Rapid development of sensitive, high-throughput, quantitative and highly selective mass spectrometric targeted immunoassays for clinically important proteins in human plasma and serum 
Clinical biochemistry  2013;46(6):399-410.
The aim of this study was to develop high-throughput, quantitative and highly selective mass spectrometric, targeted immunoassays for clinically important proteins in human plasma or serum.
Design and methods
The described method coupled mass spectrometric immunoassay (MSIA), a previously developed technique for immunoenrichment on a monolithic microcolumn activated with an anti-protein antibody and fixed in a pipette tip, to selected reaction monitoring (SRM) detection and accurate quantification of targeted peptides, including clinically relevant sequence or truncated variants.
In this report, we demonstrate the rapid development of MSIA-SRM assays for sixteen different target proteins spanning seven different clinically important areas (including neurological, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, endocrine function, cancer and other diseases) and ranging in concentration from pg/mL to mg/mL. The reported MSIA-SRM assays demonstrated high sensitivity (within published clinical ranges), precision, robustness and high-throughput as well as specific detection of clinically relevant isoforms for many of the target proteins. Most of the assays were tested with bona-fide clinical samples.
In addition, positive correlations, (R2 0.67–0.87, depending on the target peptide), were demonstrated for MSIA-SRM assay data with clinical analyzer measurements of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and insulin growth factor 1 (IGF1) in clinical sample cohorts.
We have presented a practical and scalable method for rapid development and deployment of MS-based SRM assays for clinically relevant proteins and measured levels of the target analytes in bona fide clinical samples. The method permits the specific quantification of individual protein isoforms and addresses the difficult problem of protein heterogeneity in clinical proteomics applications.
PMCID: PMC3779129  PMID: 23313081
Biomarker; SRM assay; Mass spectrometry; Proteomics; Immunoassay; Clinical proteomics
18.  CSF Presenilin-1 complexes are increased in Alzheimer’s disease 
Presenilin-1 (PS1) is the active component of the amyloid precursor protein cleaving γ-secretase complex. PS1 protein is a transmembrane protein containing multiple hydrophobic regions which presence in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has not been measured to date. This study assesses whether PS1 and other components of the γ-secretase complex are present in CSF.
Here, we show that PS1 is present in ventricular post-mortem and lumbar ante-mortem CSF, and plasma as 100–150-kDa hetero-complexes containing both the N- and C-terminal fragments (NTF and CTF) of the protein. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting with different antibodies confirmed the identity of the PS1 species. The γ-secretase components, APH-1 (anterior pharynx-defective 1) and PEN-2 (presenilin enhancer 2), as well as presenilin-2 (PS2) fragments, co-exist within these CSF complexes, while nicastrin is not detected. These CSF-PS1 complexes differ from active γ-secretase membrane-complexes, and may represent nonspecific aggregation of the PS1 protein. Levels of PS1 complexes are increased in CSF samples from autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases and were found to be more stable than complexes in CSF from control subjects. Despite similar levels of total PS1 in CSF from probable AD patients and cognitively normal subjects, an increased proportion of highly stable PS1 complexes were observed in AD CSF.
Our data suggest that fragments of the PS1 protein present in CSF as complexes may be useful as a biomarker for AD.
PMCID: PMC3893612  PMID: 24252417
Alzheimer’s disease; Cerebrospinal fluid; Diagnostic; Biomarker; Presenilin 1
19.  Body mass index is associated with biological CSF markers of core brain pathology of Alzheimer’s disease 
Neurobiology of Aging  2011;33(8):1599-1608.
Weight changes are common in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and post-mortem findings suggested a relation between lower body mass index (BMI) and increased AD brain pathology. In the current multicenter study, we tested whether lower BMI is associated with higher core AD brain pathology as assessed by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) based biological markers of AD in 751 living subjects: 308 patients with AD, 296 subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 147 elderly healthy controls (HC). Based upon a priori cutoff values on CSF concentration of total tau and beta-amyloid (Aβ1-42), subjects were binarized into a group with abnormal CSF biomarker signature (CSF+) and those without (CSF−). Results showed that BMI was significantly lower in the CSF+ when compared to the CSF− group (F = 27.7, df = 746, p < 0.001). There was no interaction between CSF signature and diagnosis or ApoE genotype. In conclusion, lower BMI is indicative of AD pathology as assessed with CSF-based biomarkers in demented and non-demented elderly subjects.
PMCID: PMC3208117  PMID: 21684041
Alzheimer’s disease; body mass index; cerebrospinal fluid; tau protein; Aβ1-42
20.  Alzheimer’s disease markers, hypertension and gray matter damage in normal elderly 
Neurobiology of Aging  2011;33(7):1215-1227.
It is not well known whether Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers are associated with brain damage in cognitively normal elderly. The combined influence of CSF biomarkers and hypertension (HTN) on the gray matter (GM) is also not well described.
115 cognitively healthy subjects (mean age 62.6±9.5, 62% women) received clinical assessment, a high resolution MRI and a lumbar puncture. The CSF levels of total tau (t-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (p-tau231), amyloid beta (Aβ42/Aβ40), p-tau231/Aβ42 and t-tau/Aβ42 were dichotomized as ‘high’ and ‘low’ based on accepted cut-off values. Statistical parametric mapping was used to examine MRI scans for regional GM density, studied as a function of the CSF markers, HTN and combination of both. Global and medial temporal lobe (MTL) GM was also assessed. Voxel based morphometry revealed that higher t-tau was associated with lower GM density in the precunei. Subjects with higher p-tau231 and p-tau231/Aβ42 had less GM in temporal lobes. Low Aβ42/Aβ40 was related to less GM in the thalami, caudate and midbrain. Subjects with hypertension showed more GM atrophy in the cerebellum, occipital and frontal regions. Simultaneous presence of elevated CSF AD biomarkers and HTN was associated with more GM atrophy than either marker individually, but no interaction effects were identified.
In conclusion, in normal elderly CSF tau markers were associated predominantly with lower GM estimates in structures typically affected early in the AD process. In this presymptomatic stage when no cognitive impairment is present, AD pathology and HTN have additive effects on gray matter damage.
PMCID: PMC3179821  PMID: 21530003
Aging; Biomarkers; MRI; Alzheimer’s Disease; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Hypertension
21.  Decreased cerebrospinal fluid secretogranin II concentrations in severe forms of bipolar disorder 
Bipolar disorder is a common psychiatric mood disorder that is defined by recurrent episodes of abnormally elevated mood and depression. Progressive structural brain changes in individuals with bipolar disorder have been suggested to be associated with defects in the secretion of neurotrophic factors. We sought to assess how the regulated secretory pathway in the brain is affected in patients with bipolar disorder by measuring chromogranin B and secretogranin II, which are 2 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biological markers for this process.
We measured the concentrations of chromogranin B (peptide 439–451) and secretogranin II (peptide 154–165) in the CSF of patients with well-defined bipolar disorder and healthy controls. The lifetime severity of bipolar disorder was rated using the Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale.
We included 126 patients with bipolar disorder and 71 healthy controls in our analysis. Concentrations of secretogranin II were significantly lower in patients with bipolar disorder type I than in healthy controls. The reduction was most pronounced in patients with high CGI scores (i.e., severe disease).
The cross-sectional design of the current study limits the ability to pinpoint the causalities behind the observed associations.
This study shows that the CSF marker secretogranin II has the potential to act as a biological marker for severe forms of bipolar disorder. Our findings indicate that patients with bipolar disorder possess defects in the regulatory secretory pathway, which may be of relevance to the progressive structural brain changes seen in those with severe forms of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3692729  PMID: 23415276
22.  Fluid biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease – current concepts 
The diagnostic guidelines of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have recently been updated to include brain imaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, with the aim of increasing the certainty of whether a patient has an ongoing AD neuropathologic process or not. The CSF biomarkers total tau (T-tau), hyperphosphorylated tau (P-tau) and the 42 amino acid isoform of amyloid β (Aβ42) reflect the core pathologic features of AD, which are neuronal loss, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques. Since the pathologic processes of AD start decades before the first symptoms, these biomarkers may provide means of early disease detection. The updated guidelines identify three different stages of AD: preclinical AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD and AD with dementia. In this review, we aim to summarize the CSF biomarker data available for each of these stages. We also review results from blood biomarker studies. In summary, the core AD CSF biomarkers have high diagnostic accuracy both for AD with dementia and to predict incipient AD (MCI due to AD). Longitudinal studies on healthy elderly and recent cross-sectional studies on patients with dominantly inherited AD mutations have also found biomarker changes in cognitively normal at-risk individuals. This will be important if disease-modifying treatment becomes available, given that treatment will probably be most effective early in the disease. An important prerequisite for this is trustworthy analyses. Since measurements vary between studies and laboratories, standardization of analytical as well as pre-analytical procedures will be essential. This process is already initiated. Apart from filling diagnostic roles, biomarkers may also be utilized for prognosis, disease progression, development of new treatments, monitoring treatment effects and for increasing the knowledge about pathologic processes coupled to the disease. Hence, the search for new biomarkers continues. Several candidate biomarkers have been found in CSF, and although biomarkers in blood have been harder to find, some recent studies have presented encouraging results. But before drawing any major conclusions, these results need to be verified in independent studies.
PMCID: PMC3691925  PMID: 23800368
Alzheimer’s disease; Cerebrospinal fluid; Blood; Biomarker; Amyloid β; Total tau; Phosphorylated tau; Diagnosis; Disease stages
23.  Evaluating Amyloid-β Oligomers in Cerebrospinal Fluid as a Biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66381.
The current study evaluated amyloid-β oligomers (Aβo) in cerebrospinal fluid as a clinical biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We developed a highly sensitive Aβo ELISA using the same N-terminal monoclonal antibody (82E1) for capture and detection. CSF samples from patients with AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy controls were examined. The assay was specific for oligomerized Aβ with a lower limit of quantification of 200 fg/ml, and the assay signal showed a tight correlation with synthetic Aβo levels. Three clinical materials of well characterized AD patients (n = 199) and cognitively healthy controls (n = 148) from different clinical centers were included, together with a clinical material of patients with MCI (n = 165). Aβo levels were elevated in the all three AD-control comparisons although with a large overlap and a separation from controls that was far from complete. Patients with MCI who later converted to AD had increased Aβo levels on a group level but several samples had undetectable levels. These results indicate that presence of high or measurable Aβo levels in CSF is clearly associated with AD, but the overlap is too large for the test to have any diagnostic potential on its own.
PMCID: PMC3682966  PMID: 23799095
24.  Injury markers predict time to dementia in subjects with MCI and amyloid pathology 
Neurology  2012;79(17):1809-1816.
Alzheimer disease (AD) can now be diagnosed in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using biomarkers. However, little is known about the rate of decline in those subjects. In this cohort study, we aimed to assess the conversion rate to dementia and identify prognostic markers in subjects with MCI and evidence of amyloid pathology.
We pooled subjects from the VU University Medical Center Alzheimer Center and the Development of Screening Guidelines and Criteria for Predementia Alzheimer's Disease (DESCRIPA) study. We included subjects with MCI, an abnormal level of β-amyloid1−42 (Aβ1–42) in the CSF, and at least one diagnostic follow-up visit. We assessed the effect of APOE genotype, CSF total tau (t-tau) and tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau) and hippocampal volume on time to AD-type dementia using Cox proportional hazards models and on decline on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) using linear mixed models.
We included 110 subjects with MCI with abnormal CSF Aβ1–42 and a mean MMSE score of 26.3 ± 2.8. During a mean follow-up of 2.2 ± 1.0 (range 0.4–5.0) years, 63 subjects (57%) progressed to AD-type dementia. Abnormal CSF t-tau (hazard ratio [HR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–4.6, p = 0.03) and CSF p-tau (HR 3.5, 95% CI 1.3–9.2, p = 0.01) concentration and hippocampal atrophy (HR 2.5, 95% CI 1.1–5.6, p = 0.02) predicted time to dementia. For subjects with both abnormal t-tau concentration and hippocampal atrophy, HR was 7.3 (95% CI 1.0–55.9, p = 0.06). Furthermore, abnormal CSF t-tau and p-tau concentrations and hippocampal atrophy predicted decline in MMSE score.
In subjects with MCI and evidence of amyloid pathology, the injury markers CSF t-tau and p-tau and hippocampal atrophy can predict further cognitive decline.
PMCID: PMC3475623  PMID: 23019259
25.  Aβ1-15/16 as a marker for γ-secretase inhibition in Alzheimer’s disease 
Amyloid-β (Aβ) producing enzymes are key targets for disease-modifying Alzheimer’s disease (AD) therapies since Aβ trafficking is at the core of AD pathogenesis. Development of such drugs might benefit from the identification of markers indicating in vivo drug effects in the central nervous system. We have previously shown that Aβ1-15 is produced by concerted β- and α-secretase cleavage of amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP). Here, we test the hypothesis that this pathway is more engaged upon γ-secretase inhibition in humans and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of Aβ1-15/16 represent a biomarker for this effect. Twenty healthy men were treated with placebo (n=5) or the γ-secretase inhibitor semagacestat (100 mg [n=5], 140 mg [n=5], or 280 mg [n=5]). CSF samples were collected hourly over 36 hours and 10 time points were analyzed by immunoassay for Aβ1-15/16, Aβx-38, Aβx-40, Aβx-42, sAβPPα and sAβPPβ. The CSF concentration of Aβ1-15/16 showed a dose-dependent response over 36 hours. In the 280 mg treatment group, a transient increase was seen with a maximum of 180% relative to baseline at 9 hours post administration of semagacestat. The concentrations of Aβx-38, Aβx-40 and Aβx-42 decreased the first 9 hours followed by increased concentrations after 36 hours relative to baseline. No significant changes were detected for CSF sAβPPα and sAβPPβ.Our data shows that CSF levels of Aβ1-15/16 increase during treatment with semagacestat supporting its feasibility as a pharmacodynamic biomarker for drug candidates aimed at inhibiting γ-secretase-mediated AβPP-processing.
PMCID: PMC3609706  PMID: 22531418
Alzheimer’s; Aβ; Amyloid; γ-secretase

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