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1.  MRI characteristics and scoring in HDLS due to CSF1R gene mutations 
Neurology  2012;79(6):566-574.
Objective:
To describe the brain MRI characteristics of hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) with known mutations in the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor gene (CSF1R) on chromosome 5.
Methods:
We reviewed 20 brain MRI scans of 15 patients with autopsy- or biopsy-verified HDLS and CSF1R mutations. We assessed sagittal T1-, axial T1-, T2-, proton density-weighted and axial fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images for distribution of white matter lesions (WMLs), gray matter involvement, and atrophy. We calculated a severity score based on a point system (0−57) for each MRI scan.
Results:
Of the patients, 93% (14 of 15) demonstrated localized WMLs with deep and subcortical involvement, whereas one patient revealed generalized WMLs. All WMLs were bilateral but asymmetric and predominantly frontal. Fourteen patients had a rapidly progressive clinical course with an initial MRI mean total severity score of 16.7 points (range 10−33.5). Gray matter pathology and brainstem atrophy were absent, and the corticospinal tracts were involved late in the disease course. There was no enhancement, and there was minimal cerebellar pathology.
Conclusion:
Recognition of the typical MRI patterns of HDLS and the use of an MRI severity score might help during the diagnostic evaluation to characterize the natural history and to monitor potential future treatments. Indicators of rapid disease progression were symptomatic disease onset before 45 years, female sex, WMLs extending beyond the frontal regions, a MRI severity score greater than 15 points, and mutation type of deletion.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318263575a
PMCID: PMC3413763  PMID: 22843259
2.  Expression of B-cell activating factor, a proliferating inducing ligand and its receptors in primary central nervous system lymphoma 
Neurology International  2013;5(1):e4.
B-cell activating factor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family (BAFF) and a proliferating inducing ligand (APRIL) might play an important role in the pathogenesis of systemic B-cell malignancies. However, the BAFF/APRIL system has not been systematically evaluated in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) to date. We assessed the expression of BAFF, APRIL and its receptors BAFF-R (BAFF receptor), BCMA (B-cell maturation antigen) and TACI (transmembrane activator and calcium modulator cyclophilin ligand interactor) in five PCNSL specimens by immunohistochemical staining. We found extensive expression of BAFF and weak to moderate expression of APRIL, BAFF-R, BCMA, and TACI in all specimens. CD20 positive cells showed expression of both ligands and receptors at the same time. Our results indicate that autocrine stimulation of the BAFF/APRIL system might be involved in the pathogenesis of PCNSL.
doi:10.4081/ni.2013.e4
PMCID: PMC3661982  PMID: 23717783
PCNSL; BAFF; APRIL; TACI; BCMA
3.  Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids (HDLS): a misdiagnosed disease entity 
Journal of the Neurological Sciences  2011;314(1-2):130-137.
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.
doi:10.1016/j.jns.2011.10.006
PMCID: PMC3275663  PMID: 22050953
HDLS; White matter disease; Autosomal dominant; Personality changes; Cognitive problems; Depression; Parkinsonism
4.  FET proteins TAF15 and EWS are selective markers that distinguish FTLD with FUS pathology from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations 
Brain  2011;134(9):2595-2609.
Accumulation of the DNA/RNA binding protein fused in sarcoma as cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells is the pathological hallmark of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with mutations in FUS as well as in several subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which are not associated with FUS mutations. The mechanisms leading to inclusion formation and fused in sarcoma-associated neurodegeneration are only poorly understood. Because fused in sarcoma belongs to a family of proteins known as FET, which also includes Ewing’s sarcoma and TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15, we investigated the potential involvement of these other FET protein family members in the pathogenesis of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies. Immunohistochemical analysis of FET proteins revealed a striking difference among the various conditions, with pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations being labelled exclusively for fused in sarcoma, whereas fused in sarcoma-positive inclusions in subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration also consistently immunostained for TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and variably for Ewing’s sarcoma. Immunoblot analysis of proteins extracted from post-mortem tissue of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology demonstrated a relative shift of all FET proteins towards insoluble protein fractions, while genetic analysis of the TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing’s sarcoma gene did not identify any pathogenic variants. Cell culture experiments replicated the findings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations by confirming the absence of TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing’s sarcoma alterations upon expression of mutant fused in sarcoma. In contrast, all endogenous FET proteins were recruited into cytoplasmic stress granules upon general inhibition of Transportin-mediated nuclear import, mimicking the findings in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology. These results allow a separation of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies caused by FUS mutations from those without a known genetic cause based on neuropathological features. More importantly, our data imply different pathological processes underlying inclusion formation and cell death between both conditions; the pathogenesis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations appears to be more restricted to dysfunction of fused in sarcoma, while a more global and complex dysregulation of all FET proteins is involved in the subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr201
PMCID: PMC3170539  PMID: 21856723
FUS; TAF15; EWS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia
5.  Mutations in the colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) cause hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids 
Nature Genetics  2011;44(2):200-205.
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with spheroids (HDLS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited central nervous system white matter disease with variable clinical presentations including personality and behavioral changes, dementia, depression, parkinsonism, seizures, and others1,2. We combined genome-wide linkage analysis with exome sequencing and identified 14 different mutations affecting the tyrosine kinase domain of the colony stimulating factor receptor 1 (encoded by CSF1R) in 14 families affected by HDLS. In one kindred, the de novo occurrence of the mutation was confirmed. Follow-up sequencing analyses identified an additional CSF1R mutation in a patient clinically diagnosed with corticobasal syndrome (CBS). In vitro, CSF-1 stimulation resulted in the rapid autophosphorylation of selected tyrosine-residues in the kinase domain of wild-type but not mutant CSF1R, suggesting that HDLS may result from a partial loss of CSF1R function. Since CSF1R is a critical mediator of microglial proliferation and differentiation in the brain, our findings suggest an important role for microglial dysfunction in HDLS pathogenesis.
doi:10.1038/ng.1027
PMCID: PMC3267847  PMID: 22197934
6.  A new subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with FUS pathology 
Brain  2009;132(11):2922-2931.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinical syndrome with a heterogeneous molecular basis. The neuropathology associated with most FTD is characterized by abnormal cellular aggregates of either transactive response DNA-binding protein with Mr 43 kDa (TDP-43) or tau protein. However, we recently described a subgroup of FTD patients, representing around 10%, with an unusual clinical phenotype and pathology characterized by frontotemporal lobar degeneration with neuronal inclusions composed of an unidentified ubiquitinated protein (atypical FTLD-U; aFTLD-U). All cases were sporadic and had early-onset FTD with severe progressive behavioural and personality changes in the absence of aphasia or significant motor features. Mutations in the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene have recently been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with these cases reported to have abnormal cellular accumulations of FUS protein. Because of the recognized clinical, genetic and pathological overlap between FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we investigated whether FUS might also be the pathological protein in aFTLD-U. In all our aFTLD-U cases (n = 15), FUS immunohistochemistry labelled all the neuronal inclusions and also demonstrated previously unrecognized glial pathology. Immunoblot analysis of protein extracted from post-mortem aFTLD-U brain tissue demonstrated increased levels of insoluble FUS. No mutations in the FUS gene were identified in any of our patients. These findings suggest that FUS is the pathological protein in a significant subgroup of sporadic FTD and reinforce the concept that FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are closely related conditions.
doi:10.1093/brain/awp214
PMCID: PMC2768659  PMID: 19674978
frontotemporal lobar degeneration; frontotemporal dementia; FUS; fused in sarcoma; TLS; translocated in liposarcoma
7.  Abundant FUS-immunoreactive pathology in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease 
Acta neuropathologica  2009;118(5):605-616.
Neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID) is an uncommon neurodegenerative condition that typically presents as early-onset, sporadic frontotemporal dementia (FTD), associated with a pyramidal and/or extrapyramidal movement disorder. The neuropathology is characterized by frontotemporal lobar degeneration with neuronal inclusions that are immunoreactive for all class IV intermediate filaments (IF), light, medium and heavy neurofilament subunits and α-internexin. However, not all the inclusions in NIFID are IF-positive and the primary molecular defect remains uncertain. Mutations in the gene encoding the fused in sarcoma (FUS) protein have recently been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Because of the recognized clinical, genetic and pathological overlap between FTD and ALS, we investigated the possible role of FUS in NIFID. We found abnormal intracellular accumulation of FUS to be a consistent feature of our NIFID cases (n = 5). More neuronal inclusions were labeled using FUS immunohistochemistry than for IF. Several types of inclusions were consistently FUS-positive but IF-negative, including neuronal intranuclear inclusions and glial cytoplasmic inclusions. Double-label immunofluorescence confirmed that many cells had only FUS-positive inclusions and that all cells with IF-positive inclusions also contained pathological FUS. No mutations in the FUS gene were identified in a single case with DNA available. These findings suggest that FUS may play an important role in the pathogenesis of NIFID.
doi:10.1007/s00401-009-0581-5
PMCID: PMC2864784  PMID: 19669651
frontotemporal dementia; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; neuronal intermediate filament disease; fused in liposarcoma; translocated in sarcoma
8.  Correction: Evidence for a Pathogenic Role of Different Mutations at Codon 188 of PRNP 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):10.1371/annotation/3189bbdc-e736-4cb5-b1f2-9a5fb49536c6.
doi:10.1371/annotation/3189bbdc-e736-4cb5-b1f2-9a5fb49536c6
PMCID: PMC2637101
9.  Evidence for a Pathogenic Role of Different Mutations at Codon 188 of PRNP 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(5):e2147.
Clinical and pathological changes in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) cases may be similar or indistinguishable from sporadic CJD. Therefore determination of novel mutations in PRNP remains of major importance.
We identified two different rare mutations in codon 188 of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in four patients suffering from a disease clinically very similar to the major subtype of sporadic CJD. Both mutations result in an exchange of the amino acid residue threonine for a highly basic residue, either arginine (T188R) or lysine (T188K). The T188R mutation was found in one patient and the T188K mutation in three patients. The prevalence of mutations at codon 188 of PRNP was tested in 593 sporadic CJD cases and 735 healthy individuals. Neither mutation was found. The data presented here argue in favor of T188K being a pathogenic mutation causing genetic CJD. Since one individual with this mutation, who is the father of a clinically affected patient with T188K mutation, is now 79 years old and shows no signs of disease, this mutation is likely associated with a penetrance under 100%. Further observations will have to show whether T188R is a pathogenic mutation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002147
PMCID: PMC2366066  PMID: 18478114

Results 1-9 (9)