A clinically and pathologically heterogeneous type of frontotemporal lobar degeneration has abnormal tau pathology in neurons and glia (FTLD-tau). Familial FTLD-tau is usually due to mutations in the tau gene (MAPT). Even FTLD-tau determined by MAPT mutations ha s clinical and pathologic heterogeneity. Tauopathies are subclassified according to the predominant species of tau that accumulates, with respect to alternative splicing of MAPT, with tau proteins containing 3 (3R) or 4 repeats (4R) of ~ 32 amino acids in the microtubule binding domain. In Pick's disease (PiD), 3R tau predominates, whereas 4R tau is characteristic of corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Depending upon the specific mutation in MAPT, familial FTLD-tau can have 3R, 4R or a combination of 3R and 4R tau. PiD is the least common FTLD-tau characterized by neuronal Pick bodies in a stereotypic neuroanatomical distribution. PSP and CBD are more common than PiD and have extensive clinical and pathologic overlap, with no distinctive clinical syndrome or biomarker that permits their differentiation. Diagnosis rests upon postmortem examination of the brain and demonstration of globose tangles, oligodendroglial coiled bodies and tufted astrocytes in PSP or threads, pretangles and astrocytic plaques in CBD. The anatomical distribution of tau pathology determines the clinical presentation of PSP and CBD, as well as PiD. The basis for this selective cortical vulnerability in FTLD-tau is unknown.
corticobasal degeneration; corticobasal syndrome; frontotemporal lobar degeneration – tau; Pick’s disease; progressive supranuclear palsy; Richardson syndrome
Background: Fetal transplantation for Parkinson disease (PD) had been considered a promising therapeutic strategy; however, reports of Lewy bodies (LBs) and Lewy neurites (LNs) in engrafted tissue adds to controversy surrounding this treatment for PD. Methods: The brain of a PD patient who had fetal transplantation 14 years before death was evaluated. The graft was studied with routine histologic methods, as well as immunohistochemistry for α-synuclein, neurofilament, synaptophysin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), as well as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) for astrocytes and ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA-1) for microglia. Results: On coronal sections of the brain, the graft extended from the putamen to the amygdala, abutting the anterior hippocampus. Microscopically, the graft consisted of neuron-rich and glia-rich portions. Neuron-rich portions, resembling a neuronal heterotopia, were located in the putamen, whereas the glia-rich portion was more ventral near the amygdala. LBs and LNs were detected in the ventral portion of the graft, especially that part of the graft within the amygdala. Areas with LBs and LNs also had astrogliosis and microgliosis. TH positive neurons were rare and their distribution did not overlap with LBs or LNs. Comments: LBs and LNs were detected in the transplanted tissue with α-synuclein immunohistochemistry. Unexpected outgrowth of the graft into the amygdala was accompanied by skewed distribution of LBs and gliosis, more abundant in the graft within the amygdala. The distribution of LBs within the graft may suggest the potential role of the local environment as well as gliosis in formation of α-synuclein pathology.
Fetal transplantation; Parkinson disease (PD); therapy; α-synuclein pathology; gliosis
Previous studies have shown tau pathology in the inferior colliculus (IC) and superior colliculus (SC) in Alzheimer’s disease (AD); however, it has not been compared to other tauopathies, such as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), or characterized with respect to progression of tau pathology in AD. The main purpose of this study was to investigate frequency, neuroanatomical selectivity and disease specificity of tau pathology in visual and auditory nuclei (SC and lateral geniculate body (LGB); IC and medial geniculate body (MGB), respectively). We measured phospho-tau burden with immunohistochemistry and image analysis in 26 cases of AD, 37 PSP and 11 normal controls. Tau burden was also assessed in two unrelated brainstem nuclei (substantia nigra (SN) and pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN)) of the same cases. We found tau burden to be greater in the SC of PSP compared to AD and controls. Conversely, tau burden was greater in the IC of AD compared to PSP and controls. The MGB and LGB had sparse tau pathology in both AD and PSP. This disease selectivity parallels known deficits in visual reflexes in PSP and auditory reflexes in AD. Tau burden was greater in the SC, IC, and PPN in both PSP and AD compared to controls, and greater in the SN in PSP compared to AD and controls. Although present at early Braak neurofibrillary tangle stages, the SC, IC, PPN and SN did not accumulate tau consistently until later stages. These findings support a concept of tau pathology affecting the brainstem at mid-to-late stage AD.
colliculi; geniculate bodies; substantia nigra; pedunculopontine nucleus; Alzheimer’s disease; progressive supranuclear palsy; tau
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) was originally described in a large Swedish pedigree. Since then, 22 reports describing a total of 13 kindred's and 11 sporadic cases have been published. Inheritance is autosomal dominant, albeit the gene is unknown. Here we report on the clinical findings, genealogical data, brain MRI data, and autopsy/biopsy findings of four probands from three independently ascertained novel families from Norway, Germany and US.
We identified a 39-year-old female and her twin sister, a 52-year-old male and a 47-year-old male with progressive neurological illness characterized by personality changes, cognitive decline and motor impairments, such as gait problems, bradykinesia, tremor and rigidity. Brain MRI showed white matter abnormalities with frontal prominence. Brain biopsy/autopsies were consistent with HDLS.
HDLS is an under-recognized disease and in reporting these cases, we aim to increase the awareness of the disorder. Due to varied and wide phenotypic presentations, which may imitate several neurodegenerative diseases, HDLS can be difficult to diagnose. Definitive diagnosis can be established only by direct brain tissue examination. Familiarity with the clinical presentation and typical neuroimaging findings may be helpful in narrowing the diagnosis.
HDLS; White matter disease; Autosomal dominant; Personality changes; Cognitive problems; Depression; Parkinsonism
Lewy bodies (LBs), the pathological hallmark of Lewy body disease (LBD), contain α-synuclein, as well as other proteins. In this study, we examined the relationship of α-synuclein to two rate-limiting enzymes in neurotransmitter synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Double labeling immunohistochemistry for α-synuclein and TH revealed TH-immunoreactivity within LBs in catecholaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus, but not within LBs in cholinergic neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus and nucleus basalis of Meynert. In contrast, ChAT-immunoreactivity within LBs was detected in cholinergic, but not within LBs in catecholaminergic neurons. The amygdala was devoid of TH and ChAT positive LBs, although a few Lewy neurites contained ChAT immunoreactivity. Further analysis revealed two distinct patterns of neurotransmitter immunoreactivity within LBs. One pattern had diffuse co-localization of TH or ChAT with α-synuclein as in cortical-type LBs, while the other had intense TH or ChAT immunoreactivity in the LB core surrounded by a peripheral rim of α-synuclein as in brainstem-type LBs. Levels of both TH and ChAT were higher in brainstem-type LBs than in the cytoplasm of the same neuron or in neurons from the same case devoid of LBs. Given the fact that LB-containing neurons have decreases in cytoplasmic TH and ChAT immunoreactivity, these results suggest LBs may disrupt cholinergic and catecholaminergic neurotransmitter production by sequestration of the rate limiting enzymes for acetylcholine and catecholamine synthesis.
α-synuclein; choline acetyltransferase; Lewy bodies; locus coeruleus; nucleus basalis of Meynert; pedunculopontine nucleus; substantia nigra; tyrosine hydroxylase
Hippocampal sclerosis (HpScl) is common in elderly subjects with dementia, either alone or accompanied by other pathologic processes. It is also found in >70% of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-TDP). TDP-43 inclusions are detected in >20% of Alzheimer disease (AD) and >70% of HpScl cases. The most common cause of FTLD-TDP is mutation in the progranulin gene (GRN). Recently, a common genetic variant in the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of GRN (rs5848; c.*78C>T) located in a microRNA binding site regulated progranulin expression, and the T-allele was increased in FTLD-TDP compared to controls.
The goal of this study was to determine if the 3′UTR variant in GRN was associated with TDP-43 immunoreactivity in AD with and without HpScl.
644 cases of pathologically confirmed AD, including 57 with HpScl, were screened for TDP-43 immunoreactivity and were genotyped at the GRN 3′UTR single-nucleotide polymorphism rs5848 using previously published methods.
There was a trend (p = 0.06) for TDP-43 immunoreactivity, but a very significant (p = 0.005) association of HpScl with the variant, with 72% of AD with HpScl carrying a T-allele, compared to 51% of AD without HpScl carrying a T-allele.
The results suggest that a genetic variant in GRN leading to decreased levels of progranulin may be a risk factor for HpScl in AD, while its role in TDP-43 immunoreactivity in AD remains less certain.
Alzheimer's disease; Hippocampal sclerosis; Immunohistochemistry; Progranulin gene
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) can be classified as tau-positive (FTLD-tau) and tau-negative FTLD. The most common form of tau-negative FTLD is associated with neuronal inclusions that are composed of TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) (FTLD-TDP). Recent evidence suggests that FTLD-TDP can be further subdivided into at least three major histologic variants based on patterns of TDP-43 immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) and dystrophic neurites (DN) in neocortex and hippocampus. The aim of this study was to extend the histologic analysis to other brain regions and to determine if there were distinct clinical and pathologic characteristics of the FTLD-TDP subtypes. Thirty-nine FTLD-TDP cases were analyzed (Mackenzie type 1, n = 24; Mackenzie type 2, n = 9; Mackenzie type 3, n = 6). There was a highly significant association between clinical syndrome and FTLD-TDP subtype, with progressive non-fluent aphasia associated with type 1, semantic dementia with type 2, and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia with types 1, 2 and 3. Semi-quantitative analysis of NCI and DN demonstrated different patterns of involvement in cortical, subcortical and brainstem areas that were characteristic for each of the three types of FTLD-TDP. Type 1 had a mixture of NCI and DN, as well as intranuclear inclusions in most cases and TDP-43 pathology at all levels of the neuraxis, but less in brainstem than supratentorial structures. Type 2 cases were characterized by predominance of long, thick DN in the cortex, as well as numerous NCI in hippocampus, amygdala and basal ganglia, but virtually no NCI and only sparse DN in diencephalon and brainstem. Type 3 had a paucity of DN at all levels of the neuraxis and significantly more NCI in the hypoglossal nucleus than the other types. These findings extend previously described clinicopathological associations of FTLD-TDP subtypes and support the notion that FTLD-TDP subtypes may be distinct clinicopathologic disorders.
frontotemporal dementia; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; immunohistochemistry; progressive non-fluent aphasia; semantic dementia; TDP-43
Patterns of atrophy in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) correlate with the clinical subtypes of behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD), semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia (PNFA) and FTD with motor neuron disease (FTD-MND). Right temporal variant FTD is associated with behavioral dyscontrol and semantic impairment, with tau abnormalities more common in right temporal bvFTD and TDP-43 accumulation in right temporal semantic dementia. However, no clinical and anatomical correlation has been described for patients with predominant right temporal atrophy and FTD-MND. Therefore, we performed a database screen for all patients diagnosed with FTD-MND at Mayo Clinic and reviewed their MRI scans to identify those with striking, dominant, right temporal lobe atrophy. For cases with volumetric MRI we performed voxel based morphometry and for those with brain tissue we performed pathological examination. Of three such patients identified, each patient had different presenting behavioral and/or aphasic characteristics. MRI, including DTI sequence in one patient, and FDG PET scan, revealed striking and dominant right temporal lobe atrophy, right corticospinal tract degeneration, and right temporal hypometabolism. Archived brain tissue was available in 2 patients; both demonstrating TDP-43 type 3 pathology (Mackenzie scheme) with predominant neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions. In one case, neurofibrillary tangles (Braak V) and neuritic plaques were also present in keeping with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. There appears to be an association between FTD-MND and severe right temporal lobe atrophy. Until further characterization of such cases are determined, they may be best classified as right temporal variant FTD-MND.
Frontotemporal dementia; Motor neuron disease; TDP-43; Voxel based morphometry (VBM); positron emission tomography (PET
The current consensus criteria for the neuropathologic diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), known as the National Institute on Aging/Reagan Institute of the Alzheimer Association Consensus Recommendations for the Postmortem Diagnosis of AD or NIA-Reagan Criteria , were published in 1997 (hereafter referred to as “1997 Criteria”). Knowledge of AD and the tools used for clinical investigation of cognitive impairment and dementia have advanced substantially since then and have prompted this update on the neuropathologic assessment of AD.
We present a practical guide for the implementation of recently revised National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association guidelines for the neuropathologic assessment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Major revisions from previous consensus criteria are: (i) recognition that AD neuropathologic changes may occur in the apparent absence of cognitive impairment, (ii) an “ABC” score for AD neuropathologic change that incorporates histopathologic assessments of amyloid β deposits (A), staging of neurofibrillary tangles (B), and scoring of neuritic plaques (C), and (iii) more detailed approaches for assessing commonly co-morbid conditions such as Lewy body disease, vascular brain injury, hippocampal sclerosis, and TAR DNA binding protein (TDP)-43 immunoreactive inclusions. Recommendations also are made for the minimum sampling of brain, preferred staining methods with acceptable alternatives, reporting of results, and clinico-pathologic correlations.
To determine whether dementia with Lewy bodies with or without probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder differ clinically or pathologically.
Patients with dementia with Lewy bodies who have probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior sleep disorder (n=71) were compared to those without it (n=19) on demographics, clinical variables (core features of dementia with Lewy bodies, dementia duration, rate of cognitive/motor changes) and pathologic indices (Lewy body distribution, neuritic plaque score, Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage).
Individuals with probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder were predominantly male (82% versus 47%), and had a shorter duration of dementia (mean 8 years versus 10 years), earlier onset of parkinsonism (mean 2 years versus 5 years), and earlier onset of visual hallucinations (mean 3 years versus 6 years). These patients also had a lower Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage (Stage IV versus Stage VI) and lower neuritic plaque scores (18% frequent versus 85% frequent), but no difference in Lewy body distribution. When probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder developed early (at or before dementia onset), the onset of parkinsonism and hallucinations was earlier and Braak neurofibrillary tangle stage was lower compared to those who developed the sleep disorder after dementia onset. Women with autopsy-confirmed DLB without a history of dream enactment behavior during sleep had a later onset of hallucinations and parkinsonism and a higher Braak NFT stage.
Probable rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is associated with distinct clinical and pathologic characteristics of dementia with Lewy bodies.
Parkinson’s disease; REM sleep behavior disorder; Dementia with Lewy bodies; Lewy body disease; Alzheimer’s disease
Conditional overexpression of four-repeat human tau containing the P301L missense mutation in the rTg4510 mouse model of tauopathy leads to progressive accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and hyperphosphorylated, sarkosyl-insoluble tau species, which are biochemically comparable to abnormal tau characteristic of hereditary tauopathies termed FTDP-17. To fully understand the impact of tau species at different stages of self-assembly on neurodegeneration, we fractionated rTg4510 brain representing several stages of tauopathy to obtain TBS-extractable (S1), high salt/sarkosyl-extractable (S3), and sarkosyl-insoluble (P3) fractions. Under reducing condition, the S1 fraction was demonstrated by Western blotting to contain both 50–60 kDa normally-sized and 64 kDa tau. Both are thermo-stable, but the 64 kDa tau showed a higher degree of phosphorylation. Under non-reducing condition, nearly all TBS-extractable 64 kDa tau were detected as ~130 kDa species consistent with the size of dimer. Quantitative analysis showed ~80 times more 64 kDa tau in S1 than P3 fraction. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed tau-positive granules/short filaments in S1 fraction. These structures displayed MC1 immunoreactivities indicative of conformational/pathological change of tau. MC1 immunoreactivity was detected by dot blotting in samples from 2.5 month-old mice, whereas Ab39 immunoreactivity indicative of late stages of tau assembly was detected only in P3 fraction. Quantitative analysis also demonstrated a significant inverse correlation between brain weight and 64 kDa tau, but the level of TBS-extractable 64 kDa tau reflects neurodegeneration better than that of sarkosyl-insoluble 64 kDa tau. Together, the findings suggest that TBS-extractable 64 kDa tau production is a potential target for therapeutic intervention of tauopathies.
tau protein; tauopathy; transgenic mice; FTDP-17; hyperphosphorylation; dimer
We describe novel TDP-43 (trans-activation response [TAR] DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa)-positive structures in the brains of 3 patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) and a case of familial Lewy body disease. TDP-43 immunohistochemistry revealed small round structures closely associated with small blood vessels. By immunoelectron microscopy, these TDP-43-positive structures were unmyelinated cell processes located adjacent to and sometimes enclosed by the capillary basal lamina (BL). Some processes protruded from outside of the vascular BL to a position beneath the BL. The processes contained 10- to 17-nm-diameter straight filaments or filaments coated with granular material, similar to those described in neurites in FTLD-U and other disorders. In some of the abnormal structures, electron dense material formed paracrystalline arrays composed of TDP-43. The inclusions were variably positive by immunostaining for the small heat shock protein αB-crystallin and less often glial fibrillary acidic protein. Bundles of astrocytic glial fibrils characteristic of reactive astrocytes were often found in proximity but glial fibrils were negative for TDP-43. These data suggest that these processes are astrocytic end-feet with abnormal TDP-43 fibrillary inclusions. The significance of this novel TDP-43 microvasculopathy on blood-brain barrier integrity warrants further investigation.
αB-Crystallin; Astrocyte; Capillary basal lamina; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Immunoelectron microscopy; Lewy body disease; TDP-43
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cerebral white matter degeneration with myelin loss and axonal swellings (spheroids) leading to progressive cognitive and motor dysfunction. Histopathology of HDLS has been well characterized, but ultrastructural details are lacking. Here we report ultrastructural and immunoelectron microscopic characterization of spheroids and capillary basal lamina in white matter of HDLS brains. Spheroids had thin or discontinuous or no myelin sheaths. They contained various combinations of aggregated neurofilaments (NF), cytoplasmic organelles, dense bodies, and laminated figures. Aggregated filaments labeled with antibodies to phosphorylated NF (pNF), non-pNF and amyloid precursor protein. The gliotic white matter had many reactive astrocytes, and lipid-laden macrophages with membranous and fingerprint-like bodies. The basal laminas (BL) of many capillaries were dilated, and the enlarged space was heavily deposited with banded collagen type I and III. Some BL had focal thickenings and duplications. Fibronectin, not collagen IV, was found associated with banded collagen. The various types of axonal spheroids and changes in capillary basal lamina have not been emphasized previously. It remains to be determined if they are a reactive process or a primary mechanism of white matter degeneration in HDLS.
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy; spheroids; capillary basal lamina; ultrastructure; immunoelectron microscopy
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are part of a disease spectrum associated with TDP-43 pathology. Strong evidence supporting this is the existence of kindreds with family members affected by FTD, ALS or mixed features of FTD and ALS, referred to as FTD-MND. Some of these families have linkage to chromosome 9, with hexanucleotide expansion mutation in a noncoding region of C9ORF72. Discovery of the mutation defines c9FTD/ALS. Prior to discovery of mutations in C9ORF72, it was assumed that TDP-43 pathology in c9FTD/ALS was uniform. In this study, we examined the neuropathology and clinical features of 20 cases of c9FTD/ALS from a brain bank for neurodegenerative disorders. Included are six patients clinically diagnosed with ALS, eight FTD, one FTD-MND and four Alzheimer type dementia. Clinical information was unavailable for one patient. Pathologically, the cases all had TDP-43 pathology, but there were three major pathologic groups: ALS, FTLD-MND and FTLD-TDP. The ALS cases were morphologically similar to typical sporadic ALS with almost no extramotor TDP-43 pathology; all had oligodendroglial cytoplasmic inclusions. The FTLD-MND showed predominantly Mackenzie Type 3 TDP-43 pathology, and all had ALS-like pathology in motor neurons, but more extensive extramotor pathology, with oligodendroglial cytoplasmic inclusions and infrequent hippocampal sclerosis. The FTLD-TDP cases had several features similar to FTLD-TDP due to mutations in the gene for progranulin, including Mackenzie Type 1 TDP-43 pathology with neuronal intranuclear inclusions and hippocampal sclerosis. FTLD-TDP patients were older and some were thought to have Alzheimer type dementia. In addition to the FTD and ALS clinical presentations, the present study shows that c9FTD/ALS can have other presentations, possibly related to age of onset and presence of hippocampal sclerosis. Moreover, there is pathologic heterogeneity not only between ALS and FTLD, but within the FTLD group. Further studies are needed to address the molecular mechanism of clinical and pathological heterogeneity of c9FTD/ALS due to mutations in C9ORF72.
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by selective and progressive loss of specific populations of neurons, which determines the clinical presentation. The same neuronal populations can be affected in a number of different disorders. Given that the clinical presentation reflects the particular population of neurons that are targets of the disease process, it is clear that for any given clinical syndrome, more than one neurodegenerative disease can account for the clinical syndrome. Because of this clinical ambiguity, for the purpose of this brief review neurodegenerative disorders are classified according to the underlying molecular pathology rather than their clinical presentation. The major neurodegenerative diseases can be classified into amyloidoses, tauopathies, α-synucleinopathies and TDP-43 proteinopathies.
Amyloidosis; tauopathy; synucleinopathy; TDP-43 proteinopathy
Although little is known about the etiology of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), genetic and epigenetic factors, oxidative injury and inflammation are thought to contribute to its development and/or progression. Evidence for activated glia involvement in PSP has raised the possibility that neuroinflammation may contribute to its pathogenesis. To investigate the correlation between neuroinflammation and PSP, a comparative study was conducted on the patterns of cytokine expression in different regions of the brains of PSP, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and normal controls. Our results show different patterns of cytokine expression in each disease, with the expression of IL-1β transcripts being significantly higher in the substantia nigra of PSP than in AD and controls, while AD brains had significantly higher IL-1β expression in the parietal cortex compared to PSP and controls. In addition, expression of TGFβ was significantly higher in the cortical areas (particularly frontal and parietal lobes) of AD compared to PSP and controls. These results show a disease-specific topographical relationship among the expression of certain cytokines (IL-1β and TGFβ), microglial activation and neurodegenerative changes, suggesting that these cytokines may contribute to the pathologic process. If so, the use of cytokine-inhibitors and/or other anti-inflammatory agents may be able to slow disease progression in PSP.
Alzheimer’s disease; brain; cytokines; inflammation; microglia; progressive supranuclear palsy
Patients with corticobasal degeneration can present with several different clinical syndromes, making ante-mortem diagnosis a challenge. Corticobasal syndrome is the clinical phenotype originally described for corticobasal degeneration, characterized by asymmetric rigidity and apraxia, cortical sensory deficits, dystonia and myoclonus. Some patients do not develop these features, but instead have clinical features consistent with the Richardson syndrome presentation of progressive supranuclear palsy, characterized by postural instability, early unexplained falls, vertical supranuclear gaze palsy, symmetric motor disability and dysphagia. The aim of this study was to identify differences in corticobasal degeneration presenting with corticobasal syndrome (n = 11) or Richardson syndrome (n = 15) with respect to demographic, clinical and neuropathological features. Corticobasal degeneration cases were also compared with patients with pathologically proven progressive supranuclear palsy with Richardson syndrome (n = 15). Cases with corticobasal degeneration, regardless of presentation, shared histopathological and tau biochemical characteristics, but they had differing densities of tau pathology in neuroanatomical regions that correlated with their clinical presentation. In particular, those with corticobasal syndrome had greater tau pathology in the primary motor and somatosensory cortices and putamen, while those with Richardson syndrome had greater tau pathology in limbic and hindbrain structures. Compared with progressive supranuclear palsy, patients with corticobasal degeneration and Richardson syndrome had less neuronal loss in the subthalamic nucleus, but more severe neuronal loss in the medial substantia nigra and greater atrophy of the anterior corpus callosum. Clinically, they had more cognitive impairment and frontal behavioural dysfunction. The results suggest that Richardson syndrome can be a clinicopathological presentation of corticobasal degeneration. Atrophy of anterior corpus callosum may be a potential neuroimaging marker to differentiate corticobasal degeneration from progressive supranuclear palsy in patients with Richardson syndrome.
pathology; immunocytochemistry; progressive supranuclear palsy; tau protein; corticobasal degeneration
Using post-embedding immunogold electron microscopy, TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) was localized to neuronal cytoplasmic (NCI) and intranuclear (NII) inclusions, as well as unmyelinated neurites, in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions (FTLD-U), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s (AD), Pick’s disease (PiD) and Lewy body disease (LBD). The TDP-43 immunoreactive structures were morphologically heterogeneous. The most common was characterized by bundles of 10–20 nm diameter straight filaments with electron dense granular material within NCI, NII and neurites. This type of pathology was found in FTLD-U, ALS and some cases of AD. Less often inclusions in neuritic processes of FTLD-U and some cases of AD contained 10–17 nm diameter straight filaments without granular material. A final type of TDP-43 immunoreactivity was labeling of filaments and granular material associated tau filaments in neurofibrillary tangles of AD and Pick bodies of PiD or α-synuclein filaments in Lewy bodies of LBD. The results suggest that TDP-43 is the primary component of the granulofilamentous inclusions in FTLD-U and ALS. Similar inclusions sometimes accompany filamentous aggregates composed of other abnormal proteins in AD, PiD and LBD.
Alzheimer's disease; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions; immunoelectron microscopy; Lewy body disease; Pick's disease; TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43)
We recently reported that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) with amygdala Lewy bodies (ALB) is a distinct form of α-synucleinopathy that occurs in advanced AD. In AD/ALB the α-synuclein pathology correlated with tau pathology, but not amyloid plaques, and there was often co-localization of tau and α-synuclein in the same neuron. Given the anatomical connectivity of the anterior olfactory nucleus and the amygdala, which receives axonal projections from the olfactory bulb, we hypothesized that there might be a relationship between tau and α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb and the amygdala in AD. We screened for α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb in AD with and without ALB, and investigated its relationship with tau pathology. In 38 of 41 (93%) AD/ALB cases and 4 of 21 (19%) AD cases without ALB (AD/non-ALB), α-synuclein pathology was detected in the olfactory bulb. Double immunolabeling at the light and electron microscopic levels revealed co-localization of tau and α-synuclein in olfactory bulb neurons and neurites. The severity of tau pathology correlated with α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb. In addition, α-synuclein pathology in the olfactory bulb correlated with α-synuclein pathology in amygdala. Tau pathology was greater in both the olfactory bulb and amygdala in AD/ALB than in AD/non-ALB, but there was no difference in tau pathology between the two groups in other brain regions assessed. The present study shows that in AD/ALB, the olfactory bulb is nearly equally vulnerable to tau and α-synuclein pathology as the amygdala and suggests that neurodegeneration in these two anatomical regions is linked.
Alzheimer’s disease; amygdala; olfactory bulb; α-synuclein, tau
Hippocampal sclerosis (HpScl) in the elderly is often associated with neurodegeneration.
We studied the clinical and pathologic features of HpScl in 205 consecutive patients with dementia who came to autopsy from 1997 to 2008, focusing on associations with TDP-43 pathology and allelic variants in the progranulin (GRN) and apolipoprotein E (APOE).
Of the 205 dementia patients, 28 had HpScl (14%). TDP-43 pathology was more frequent in cases with HpScl compared to those without HpScl (89% vs. 24%). GRN rs5848 T-allele but not APOE ε4 was associated with HpScl. In cases of HpScl with TDP-43 pathology and age of onset after 75 (n=11), 8 had AD-like amnestic syndrome, but most (6/8) had pathology not consistent with AD (Braak stage III or less), including 4 with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP), 1 with diffuse Lewy body disease and 1 with “pure HpScl.”
HpScl is common in an elderly cohort with dementia, occurring in 14% of the cases in this series, and 89% have TDP-43 pathology, often associated with a risk variant in GRN. Patients with HpScl who present after age 75 often have presentations consistent with AD, but at autopsy have non-Alzheimer pathologies. Elderly patients with HpScl may be mistaken for AD.
Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized by numerous senile plaques (SP) in addition to widespread neocortical neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). Some elderly have pathologic aging (PA), which is characterized by numerous SP composed of diffuse amyloid deposits with few or no NFT confined to the limbic lobe. Both AD and PA represent a range of Alzheimer type pathology (ATP). Some cases of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) have concurrent ATP, but the relationship between ATP and PSP has not been addressed. In this study, a consecutive series of PSP cases were divided into three groups according to the degree of concurrent ATP – pure PSP, PSP/PA and PSP/AD. Braak NFT stage was significantly greater in PSP/AD compared with both PSP/PA and PSP. Among the pathologic variables studied in middle frontal, superior temporal and motor cortices, there were no differences between PSP and PSP/PA except for SP. In PSP/AD, there was greater neuronal tau pathology (pretangles, NFT and neuropil threads) in middle frontal and superior temporal cortices, probably a reflection of ATP since there was no comparable increase in PSP-related glial tau pathology in these regions. The APOEɛ4 allele frequency was significantly higher in PSP/PA and PSP/AD than in PSP. These results strongly argue that ATP in PSP represents independent disease processes even when present in the same brain.
Alzheimer's disease; progressive supranuclear palsy; senile plaque; tau; apolipoprotein E
Alzheimer's disease (AD) can present with non-amnestic clinical syndromes. We investigated whether there is an imaging signature of AD pathology in these atypical subjects. We identified 14 subjects that had pathological AD, a non-amnestic presentation (i.e. atypical AD), and MRI. These subjects were matched to 14 with clinical and pathological AD (i.e. typical AD), 14 with the same non-amnestic presentations with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) pathology, and 20 controls. Voxel-based morphometry and region-of-interest (ROI) analysis were used to assess patterns of grey matter loss. Loss was observed in the temporoparietal cortex in both typical and atypical AD, and showed significantly greater loss than FTLD. However, the medial temporal lobes were more severely affected in typical AD and FTLD compared to atypical AD. A ratio of hippocampal and temporoparietal volumes provided excellent discrimination of atypical AD from FTLD subjects. Temporoparietal atrophy may therefore provide a useful marker of the presence of AD pathology even in subjects with atypical clinical presentations, especially in the context of relative sparing of the hippocampus.
Alzheimer's disease; pathology; voxel-based morphometry; atypical presentation; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; temporoparietal cortex; hippocampus