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1.  Qualification of a Surrogate Matrix-Based Absolute Quantification Method for Amyloid-β42 in Human Cerebrospinal Fluid Using 2D UPLC-Tandem Mass Spectrometry 
The primary aims of this work were to: 1) establish a calibrator surrogate matrix for quantification of amyloid-β (Aβ)42 in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and preparation of quality control samples for LC-MS-MS methodology, 2) validate analytical performance of the assay, and 3) evaluate its diagnostic utility and compare it with the AlzBio3 immunoassay. The analytical methodology was based on a 2D-UPLC-MS-MS platform. Sample pretreatment used 5 M guanidine hydrochloride and extraction on μElution SPE columns as previously described. A column cleaning procedure involved gradual removal of aqueous solvents by acetonitrile assured consistent long-term chromatography performance. Receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curve and correlation analyses evaluated the diagnostic utility of UPLC-MS-MS compared to AlzBio3 immunoassay for detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The surrogate matrix, artificial CSF containing 4 mg/mL of BSA, provides linear and reproducible calibration comparable to human pooled CSF as calibration matrix. Appropriate cleaning of the trapping and analytical columns provided every-day, trouble-free runs. Analyses of CSF Aβ42 showed that UPLC-MS-MS distinguished neuropathologically-diagnosed AD subjects from healthy controls with at least equivalent diagnostic utility to AlzBio3. Comparison of ROC curves for these two assays showed no statistically significant difference (p = 0.2229). Linear regression analysis of Aβ42 concentrations measured by this mass spectrometry-based method compared to the AlzBio3 immunoassay showed significantly higher but highly correlated results. In conclusion, the newly established surrogate matrix for 2D-UPLC-MS-MS measurement of Aβ42 provides selective, reproducible, and accurate results. The documented analytical performance and diagnostic performance for AD versus controls supports consideration as a candidate reference method.
PMCID: PMC4159707  PMID: 24625802
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β42; cerebrospinal fluid; mass spectrometry
2.  Longitudinal plasma amyloid beta as a biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease 
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects more than twenty-five million people worldwide and is the most common form of dementia. Symptomatic treatments have been developed, but effective intervention to alter disease progression is needed. Targets have been identified for disease-modifying drugs, but the results of clinical trials have been disappointing. Peripheral biomarkers of disease state may improve clinical trial design and analysis, increasing the likelihood of successful drug development. Amyloid-related measures, presumably reflecting principal pathology of AD, are among the leading cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers, and measurement of plasma levels of amyloid peptides has been the focus of much investigation. In this review, we discuss recent data on plasma β-amyloid (Aβ) and examine the issues that have arisen in establishing it as a reliable biomarker of AD.
PMCID: PMC4305447  PMID: 22354745
Alzheimer’s disease; Protein biomarker; Plasma amyloid
3.  Association of Cerebrospinal Fluid β-Amyloid 1-42, T-tau, P-tau181, and α-Synuclein Levels With Clinical Features of Drug-Naive Patients With Early Parkinson Disease 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(10):1277-1287.
We observed a significant correlation between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau proteins and α-synuclein, but not β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ1–42), and lower concentration of CSF biomarkers, as compared with healthy controls, in a cohort of entirely untreated patients with Parkinson disease (PD) at the earliest stage of the disease studied so far.
To evaluate the baseline characteristics and relationship to clinical features of CSF biomarkers (Aβ1–42, total tau [T-tau], tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 [P-tau181], and α-synuclein) in drug-naive patients with early PD and demographically matched healthy controls enrolled in the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) study.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Cross-sectional study of the initial 102 research volunteers (63 patients with PD and 39 healthy controls) of the PPMI cohort.
Main Outcomes and Measures
The CSF biomarkers were measured by INNO-BIA AlzBio3 immunoassay (Aβ1–42, T-tau, and P-tau181; Innogenetics Inc) or by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (α-synuclein). Clinical features including diagnosis, demographic characteristics, motor, neuropsychiatric, and cognitive assessments, and DaTscan were systematically assessed according to the PPMI study protocol.
Slightly, but significantly, lower levels of Aβ1–42, T-tau, P-tau181, α-synuclein, and T-tau/Aβ1–42 were seen in subjects with PD compared with healthy controls but with a marked overlap between groups. Using multivariate regression analysis, we found that lower Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 levels were associated with PD diagnosis and that decreased CSF T-tau and α-synuclein were associated with increased motor severity. Notably, when we classified patients with PD by their motor phenotypes, lower CSF Aβ1–42 and P-tau181 concentrations were associated with the postural instability–gait disturbance–dominant phenotype but not with the tremor-dominant or intermediate phenotype. Finally, we found a significant correlation of the levels of α-synuclein with the levels of T-tau and P-tau181.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this first report of CSF biomarkers in PPMI study subjects, we found that measures of CSF Aβ1–42, T-tau, P-tau181, and α-synuclein have prognostic and diagnostic potential in early-stage PD. Further investigations using the entire PPMI cohort will test the predictive performance of CSF biomarkers for PD progression.
PMCID: PMC4034348  PMID: 23979011
4.  Drosophila Sirt2/mammalian SIRT3 deacetylates ATP synthase β and regulates complex V activity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2014;206(2):289-305.
Sirtuin-mediated deacetylation of the catalytic subunit of mitochondrial complex V increases complex activity.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase β, the catalytic subunit of mitochondrial complex V, synthesizes ATP. We show that ATP synthase β is deacetylated by a human nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+)–dependent protein deacetylase, sirtuin 3, and its Drosophila melanogaster homologue, dSirt2. dsirt2 mutant flies displayed increased acetylation of specific Lys residues in ATP synthase β and decreased complex V activity. Overexpression of dSirt2 increased complex V activity. Substitution of Lys 259 and Lys 480 with Arg in human ATP synthase β, mimicking deacetylation, increased complex V activity, whereas substitution with Gln, mimicking acetylation, decreased activity. Mass spectrometry and proteomic experiments from wild-type and dsirt2 mitochondria identified the Drosophila mitochondrial acetylome and revealed dSirt2 as an important regulator of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Additionally, we unravel a ceramide–NAD+–sirtuin axis wherein increased ceramide, a sphingolipid known to induce stress responses, resulted in depletion of NAD+ and consequent decrease in sirtuin activity. These results provide insight into sirtuin-mediated regulation of complex V and reveal a novel link between ceramide and Drosophila acetylome.
PMCID: PMC4107778  PMID: 25023514
5.  Association of plasma and cortical beta-amyloid is modulated by APOE ε4 status 
APOE ε4’s role as a modulator of the relationship between soluble plasma beta-amyloid (Aβ) and fibrillar brain Aβ measured by Pittsburgh Compound-B positron emission tomography ([11C]PiB PET) has not been assessed.
Ninety-six Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative participants with [11C]PiB scans and plasma Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 measurements at time of scan were included. Regional and voxel-wise analyses of [11C]PiB data were used to determine the influence of APOE ε4 on association of plasma Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42, and Aβ1-40/Aβ1-42 with [11C]PiB uptake.
In APOE ε4− but not ε4+ participants, positive relationships between plasma Aβ1-40/Aβ1-42 and [11C]PiB uptake were observed. Modeling the interaction of APOE and plasma Aβ1-40/Aβ1-42 improved the explained variance in [11C]PiB binding compared to using APOE and plasma Aβ1-40/Aβ1-42 as separate terms.
The results suggest that plasma Aβ is a potential Alzheimer’s disease biomarker and highlight the importance of genetic variation in interpretation of plasma Aβ levels.
PMCID: PMC3750076  PMID: 23541187
Alzheimer’s disease (AD); mild cognitive impairment (MCI); Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI); beta-amyloid (Aβ); plasma beta-amyloid; positron emission tomography (PET); Pittsburgh Compound-B ([11C]PiB); Apolipoprotein E (APOE)
6.  Comparing PET imaging and CSF measurements of Aβ 
Annals of neurology  2013;74(6):826-836.
We examined agreement and disagreement between two biomarkers of Aβ deposition (amyloid PET and CSF Aβ1-42) in normal aging and dementia in a large multicenter study.
Concurrently acquired florbetapir-PET and CSF Aβ were measured in cognitively normal, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) participants (N=374) from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). We also compared Aβ measurements in a separate group with serial CSF measurements over 3.1 +/− 0.8 yrs that preceded a single florbetapir session. Additional biomarker and cognitive data allowed us to further examine profiles of discordant cases.
Florbetapir and CSF Aβ were inversely correlated across all diagnostic groups, and dichotomous measurements were in agreement in 86% of subjects. Among subjects showing the most disagreement, the two discordant groups had different profiles: the florbetapir+/CSF Aβ− group was larger (N=13) and was made up of only normal and early MCI subjects; while the florbetapir−/CSF Aβ+ group was smaller (N=7), had poorer cognitive function and higher CSF tau, but no ApoE4 carriers. In the longitudinal sample, we observed both stable longitudinal CSF Aβ trajectories and those actively transitioning from normal to abnormal, but the final CSF Aβ measurements were in good agreement with florbetapir cortical retention.
CSF and amyloid-PET measurements of Aβ were consistent in the majority of subjects in the cross-sectional and longitudinal populations. Based on our analysis of discordant subjects, the available evidence did not show that CSF Aβ regularly becomes abnormal prior to fibrillar Aβ accumulation early in the course of disease.
PMCID: PMC3748164  PMID: 23536396
7.  α-Synuclein improves diagnostic and prognostic performance of tau and Aβ in Alzheimer's disease 
Acta neuropathologica  2013;126(5):10.1007/s00401-013-1148-z.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Lewy body diseases (LBD), e.g. Parkinson's disease (PD) dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), are common causes of geriatric cognitive impairments. In addition, AD and LBD are often found in the same patients at autopsy; therefore, biomarkers that can detect the presence of both pathologies in living subjects are needed. In this investigation, we report the assessment of α-synuclein (α-syn) in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and its association with CSF total tau (t-tau), phosphorylated tau181 (p-tau181), and amyloid beta1-42 (Aβ1-42) in subjects of the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI; n=389), with longitudinal clinical assessments. A strong correlation was noted between α-syn and t-tau in controls, as well as in patients with AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the correlation is not specific to subjects in the ADNI cohort, as it was also seen in PD patients and controls enrolled in the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI; n=102). A bimodal distribution of CSF α-syn levels was observed in the ADNI cohort, with high levels of α-syn in the subjects with abnormally increased t-tau values. Although a correlation was also noted between α-syn and p-tau181, there was a mismatch (α-syn-p-tau181-Mis), i.e. higher p-tau181 levels accompanied by lower α-syn levels in a subset of ADNI patients. We hypothesize that this α-syn-p-tau181-Mis is a CSF signature of concomitant LBD pathology in AD patients. Hence, we suggest that inclusion of measures of CSF α-syn and calculation of α-syn-p-tau181-Mis improves the diagnostic sensitivity/specificity of classic CSF AD biomarkers and better predicts longitudinal cognitive changes.
PMCID: PMC3812407  PMID: 23812319
Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; dementia with Lewy body; Cerebrospinal fluid; Amyloid β; tau; α-synuclein
8.  Longitudinal change in CSF Tau and Aβ biomarkers for up to 48 months in ADNI 
Acta neuropathologica  2013;126(5):10.1007/s00401-013-1151-4.
The dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau and Aβ biomarkers over time in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients from prodromal pre-symptomatic to severe stages of dementia have not been clearly defined and recent studies, most of which are cross-sectional, present conflicting findings. To clarify this issue, we analyzed the longitudinal CSF tau and Aβ biomarker data from 142 of the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) study subjects [18 AD, 74 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 50 cognitively normal subjects (CN)]. Yearly follow-up CSF collections and studies were conducted for up to 48 months (median = 36 months) for CSF Aβ1–42, phosphorylated tau (p-tau181), and total tau (t-tau). An unsupervised analysis of longitudinal measurements revealed that for Aβ1–42 and p-tau181 biomarkers there was a group of subjects with stable longitudinal CSF biomarkers measures and a group of subjects who showed a decrease (Aβ1–42, mean = −9.2 pg/ml/year) or increase (p-tau181, mean = 5.1 pg/ml/year) of these biomarker values. Low baseline Aβ1–42 values were associated with longitudinal increases in p-tau181. Conversely, high baseline p-tau181 values were not associated with changes in Aβ1–42 levels. When the subjects with normal baseline biomarkers and stable concentrations during follow-up were excluded, the expected time to reach abnormal CSF levels and the mean AD values was significantly shortened. Thus, our data demonstrate for the first time that there are distinct populations of ADNI subjects with abnormal longitudinal changes in CSF p-tau181 and Aβ1–42 levels, and our longitudinal results favor the hypothesis that Aβ1–42 changes precede p-tau181 changes.
PMCID: PMC3875373  PMID: 23812320
Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid beta; Tau; Cerebrospinal fluid; Longitudinal; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment
9.  Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers: walk with deliberate haste, don’t run blithely on? 
Acta neuropathologica  2013;126(5):10.1007/s00401-013-1197-3.
PMCID: PMC3873221  PMID: 24154963
10.  Association of Plasma C-Reactive Protein Levels with Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease 
Journal of the neurological sciences  2013;333(0):10.1016/j.jns.2013.05.028.
C-reactive protein (CRP) participates in the systemic response to inflammation. Previous studies report inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between plasma CRP and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We measured plasma CRP in 203 subjects with AD, 58 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 117 normal aging subjects and administered annual mini-mental state examinations (MMSE) during a three year follow-up period to investigate CRP’s relationship with diagnosis and progression of cognitive decline. Adjusted for age, sex, and education, subjects with AD had significantly lower levels of plasma CRP than subjects with MCI and normal aging. However, there was no significant association between plasma CRP at baseline and subsequent cognitive decline as assessed by longitudinal changes in MMSE score. Our results support previous reports of reduced levels of plasma CRP in AD and indicate its potential utility as a biomarker for the diagnosis of AD.
PMCID: PMC3815534  PMID: 23978419
Alzheimer Disease; Mild Cognitive Impairment; C-Reactive Protein; Inflammation; Biological Markers
11.  Clinical Utility and Analytical Challenges in Measurement of Cerebrospinal Fluid Amyloid-β1–42 and τ Proteins as Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers 
Clinical chemistry  2013;59(6):903-916.
Over the past 2 decades, clinical studies have provided evidence that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid β1–42 (Aβ1–42), total τ(t-τ), and τ phosphorylated at Thr181 (p-τ181) are reliable biochemical markers of Alzheimer disease (AD) neuropathology.
In this review, we summarize the clinical performance and describe the major challenges for the analytical performance of the most widely used immunoassay platforms [based on ELISA or microbead-based multianalyte profiling (xMAP) technology] for the measurement of CSF AD biomarkers (Aβ1–42, t-τ, and p-τ181). With foundational immunoassay data providing the diagnostic and prognostic values of CSF AD biomarkers, the newly revised criteria for the diagnosis of AD include CSF AD biomarkers for use in research settings. In addition, it has been suggested that the selection of AD patients at the predementia stage by use of CSF AD biomarkers can improve the statistical power of clinical trial design. Owing to the lack of a replenishable and commutable human CSF-based standardized reference material (SRM) and significant differences across different immunoassay platforms, the diagnostic–prognostic cutpoints of CSF AD biomarker concentrations are not universal at this time. These challenges can be effectively met in the future, however, through collaborative ongoing standardization efforts to minimize the sources of analytical variability and to develop reference methods and SRMs.
Measurements of CSF Aβ1–42, t-τ, and p-τ181 with analytically qualified immunoassays reliably reflect the neuropathologic hallmarks of AD in patients at the early predementia stage of the disease and even in presymptomatic patients. Thus these CSF biomarker tests are useful for early diagnosis of AD, prediction of disease progression, and efficient design of drug intervention clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4159709  PMID: 23519967
12.  Diagnostic accuracy of CSF Ab42 and florbetapir PET for Alzheimer's disease 
Reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) β-amyloid42 (Aβ42) and increased florbetapir positron emission tomography (PET) uptake reflects brain Aβ accumulation. These biomarkers are correlated with each other and altered in Alzheimer's disease (AD), but no study has directly compared their diagnostic performance.
We examined healthy controls (CN, N = 169) versus AD dementia patients (N = 118), and stable (sMCI; no dementia, followed up for at least 2 years, N = 165) versus progressive MCI (pMCI; conversion to AD dementia, N = 59). All subjects had florbetapir PET (global and regional; temporal, frontal, parietal, and cingulate) and CSF Aβ42 measurements at baseline. We compared area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity (testing a priori and optimized cutoffs). Clinical diagnosis was the reference standard.
CSF Aβ42 and (global or regional) PET florbetapir did not differ in AUC (CN vs. AD, CSF 84.4%; global PET 86.9%; difference [95% confidence interval] −6.7 to 1.5). CSF Aβ42 and global PET florbetapir did not differ in sensitivity, but PET had greater specificity than CSF in most comparisons. Sixteen CN progressed to MCI and AD (six Aβ negative, seven Aβ positive, and three PET positive but CSF negative).
The overall diagnostic accuracies of CSF Aβ42 and PET florbetapir were similar, but PET had greater specificity. This was because some CN and sMCI subjects appear pathological using CSF but not using PET, suggesting that low CSF Aβ42 not always translates to cognitive decline or brain Aβ accumulation. Other factors, including costs and side effects, may also be considered when determining the optimal modality for different applications.
PMCID: PMC4184556  PMID: 25356425
13.  A platform for discovery: The University of Pennsylvania Integrated Neurodegenerative Disease Biobank 
Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are defined by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the central nervous system (CNS), and only neuropathological examination enables a definitive diagnosis. Brain banks and their associated scientific programs have shaped the actual knowledge of NDs, identifying and characterizing the CNS deposits that define new diseases, formulating staging schemes, and establishing correlations between neuropathological changes and clinical features. However, brain banks have evolved to accommodate the banking of biofluids as well as DNA and RNA samples. Moreover, the value of biobanks is greatly enhanced if they link all the multidimensional clinical and laboratory information of each case, which is accomplished, optimally, using systematic and standardized operating procedures, and in the framework of multidisciplinary teams with the support of a flexible and user-friendly database system that facilitates the sharing of information of all the teams in the network. We describe a biobanking system that is a platform for discovery research at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania.
PMCID: PMC3933464  PMID: 23978324
Cerebrospinal fluid; Plasma; Serum; Autopsy; Neurodegeneration; Alzheimer’s Disease; Dementia; Genetics; Parkinson’s Disease; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
14.  Low levels of cerebrospinal fluid complement 3 and factor H predict faster cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment 
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by the deposition of tau and amyloid in the brain. Although the core cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers amyloid β peptide 1–42 (Aβ1–42), total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau 181 (p-tau181) show good diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, additional biomarkers that can aid in preclinical diagnosis or better track disease progression are needed. Activation of the complement system, a pivotal part of inflammation, occurs at very early stages in the AD brain. Therefore, CSF levels of complement proteins that could be linked to cognitive and structural changes in AD may have diagnostic and prognostic value.
Using xMAP® technology based assays we measured complement 3 (C3) and factor H (FH) in the CSF of 110 controls (CN), 187 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 92 AD subjects of the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) at baseline. All ADNI participants underwent clinical follow-up at 12 month intervals and MCI subjects had additional visits at 6 and 18 months. The association between CSF biomarkers and different outcome measures were analyzed using Cox proportional hazard models (conversion from MCI to AD), logistic regression models (classification of clinical groups) and mixed-effects models adjusted for age, gender, education, t-tau/Aβ1–42 and APOE ϵ4 presence (baseline and longitudinal association between biomarkers and cognitive scores).
Although no association was found between the complement proteins and clinical diagnosis or cognitive measures, lower levels of C3 (β = −0.12, p = 0.041) and FH (β = −0.075, p = 0.041) were associated with faster cognitive decline in MCI subjects as measured by the AD Assessment Scale-cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) test. Furthermore, lower FH levels were associated with larger lateral ventricular volume (p = 0.024), which is indicative of brain atrophy.
Our study confirms a lack of suitability of CSF C3 and FH as diagnostic biomarkers of AD, but points to their modest potential as prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cognitively impaired patients.
PMCID: PMC4255518  PMID: 25478014
15.  The insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins 
Cell Cycle  2011;10(11):1750-1756.
Increasing evidence supports a connection between cancer and metabolism and emphasizes the need to understand how tumors respond to the metabolic microenvironment and how tumor cell metabolism is regulated. The insulin receptor (IR) and its close family member the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) mediate the cellular response to insulin in normal cells and their function is tightly regulated to maintain metabolic homeostasis. These receptors are also expressed on tumor cells and their expression correlates with tumor progression and poor prognosis. Understanding how the IR/IGF-1R pathway functions in tumors is increasing in importance as the efficacy of drugs that target metabolic pathways, such as metformin, are investigated in prospective clinical trials. This review will focus on key signaling intermediates of the IR and IGF-1R, the Insulin Receptor Substrate (IRS) proteins, with an emphasis on IRS-2, and discuss how these adaptor proteins play a pivotal role at the intersection of metabolism and cancer.
PMCID: PMC3142458  PMID: 21597332
IRS proteins; insulin receptor; IGF-1 receptor; metabolism; cancer; metformin
16.  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
17.  GWAS of cerebrospinal fluid tau levels identifies novel risk variants for Alzheimer’s disease 
Neuron  2013;78(2):256-268.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau, tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (ptau) and Aβ42 are established biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and have been used as quantitative traits for genetic analyses. We performed the largest genome-wide association study for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau/ptau levels published to date (n=1,269), identifying three novel genome-wide significant loci for CSF tau and ptau: rs9877502 (P=4.89×10−9 for tau) located at 3q28 between GEMC1 and OSTN, rs514716 (P=1.07×10−8 and P=3.22×10−9 for tau and ptau respectively), located at 9p24.2 within GLIS3 and rs6922617 (P = 3.58×10−8 for CSF ptau) at 6p21.1 within the TREM gene cluster, a region recently reported to harbor rare variants that increase AD risk. In independent datasets rs9877502 showed a strong association with risk for AD, tangle pathology and global cognitive decline (P=2.67×10−4, 0.039, 4.86×10−5 respectively) illustrating how this endophenotype-based approach can be used to identify new AD risk loci.
PMCID: PMC3664945  PMID: 23562540
18.  Simultaneous HPLC-MS-MS quantification of 8-iso-PGF2α and 8,12-iso-iPF2α in CSF and brain tissue samples with on-line cleanup 
Quantitation of isoprostanes such as 8-iso-PGF2α and 8,12-iso-iPF2α-VI in biological fluids has been proposed as a reliable test of oxidant stress and inflammation in a variety of disorders. This paper presents a liquid chromatography method with tandem mass spectrometry detection for the simultaneous analysis of these two isoprostanes in human CSF and brain tissue samples. An API 5000 triple quadrupole instrument (AB Sciex, Foster City, CA, USA) with an APCI ion source was used in this study. Aliquots of CSF samples (0.25mL) were treated with a methanol:zinc sulfate mixture followed by on-line cleanup on an extraction column (Validated-C18) with 0.1% formic acid. The brain tissue samples were homogenized and lipids were extracted using Folch solution. Solid phase extraction columns (C18) were used for the purification of the brain isoprostane fraction. Chromatographic separation was achieved using an analytical column (Synergi C18 HydroRP) with 0.1% formic acid in water and a mixture of methanol:acetonitrile under isocratic conditions. The mass spectrometer was operated in the MRM scan and negative ion mode. The quadrupoles were set to detect the molecular ions [M-H]− and high mass fragments of isoprostanes: m/z 353→193 amu (8-iso-PGF2α) and m/z 353→115 amu (8,12-iso-iPF2α-VI) and their deuterated internal standards: m/z 357→197 amu (8-iso-PGF2α-d4) and m/z 364 → 115 amu (8,12-iso-iPF2α -VI-d11). The lower limit of quantification was 2.5 pg/mL for 8-iso-PGF2α and 5.0 pg/mL for 8,12-iso-PF2α-VI for the CSF method and 10.0 pg/0.1 g of tissue and 30.0 pg/0.1 g of tissue for 8-iso-PGF2α and 8,12-iso-iPF2α -VI, respectively, for the brain tissue method. No ion suppression or enhancement of the detection of 8-isoPGF2α, 8,12-isoPF2α-VI or both internal standards was found.
PMCID: PMC2975066  PMID: 20643588
8-iso-PGF2α; 8, 12-iso-iPF2α-VI; HPLC-MS/MS; on-line cleanup; CSF; brain tissue samples
19.  Neuronal injury biomarkers and prognosis in ADNI subjects with normal cognition 
Based on previous studies, a preclinical classification for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been proposed. However, 1) specificity of the different neuronal injury (NI) biomarkers has not been studied, 2) subjects with subtle cognitive impairment but normal NI biomarkers (SCINIB) have not been included in the analyses and 3) progression to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia of the AD type (DAT), referred to here as MCI/DAT, varies between studies. Therefore, we analyzed data from 486 cognitively normal (CN) and 327 DAT subjects in the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI)-1/GO/2 cohorts.
In the ADNI-1 cohort (median follow-up of 6 years), 6.3% and 17.0% of the CN subjects developed MCI/DAT after 3 and 5 years follow-up, respectively. NI biomarker cutoffs [structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau] were established in DAT patients and memory composite scores were calculated in CN subjects in a cross-sectional sample (n = 160). In the complete longitudinally followed CN ADNI cohort (n = 326, median follow-up of 2 years), CSF and MRI values predicted an increased conversion to MCI/DAT. Different NI biomarkers showed important disagreements for classifying subjects as abnormal NI [kappa = (−0.05)-(0.33)] and into AD preclinical groups. SCINIB subjects (5.0%) were more prevalent than AD preclinical stage 3 subjects (3.4%) and showed a trend for increased progression to MCI/DAT.
Different NI biomarkers lead to different classifications of ADNI subjects, while structural MRI and CSF tau measures showed the strongest predictive value for progression to MCI/DAT. The newly defined SCINIB category of ADNI subjects is more prevalent than AD preclinical stage individuals.
PMCID: PMC4008258  PMID: 24602322
Dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Magnetic resonance imaging; Cerebrospinal fluid; Amyloid beta; Tau
20.  Cognitive decline and reduced survival in C9orf72 expansion Frontotemporal degeneration and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
Significant heterogeneity in clinical features of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases with the pathogenic C9orf72 expansion (C9P) have been described. To clarify this issue, we compared a large C9P cohort with carefully matched non-expansion (C9N) cases with a known or highly-suspected underlying TDP-43 proteinopathy.
A retrospective-cohort study using available cross-sectional and longitudinal clinical and neuropsychological data, MRI voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and neuropathological assessment from 64 C9P cases (ALS=31, FTLD=33) and 79 C9N cases (ALS=36, FTLD=43).
C9P cases had an earlier age of onset (p=0.047), and in the subset of deceased patients, an earlier age of death (p=0.014) than C9N. C9P had more rapid progression than C9N: C9P ALS cases had a shortened survival (2.6±0.3 years) compared to C9N ALS (3.8±0.4 years; log-rankλ2=4.183,p=0.041), and C9P FTLD showed a significantly greater annualized rate of decline in letter fluency (4.5±1.3words/year) than C9N FTLD (1.4±0.8words/year, p=0.023). VBM revealed greater atrophy in the right fronto-insular, thalamus, cerebellum and bilateral parietal regions for C9P FTLD relative to C9N FTLD, and regression analysis related verbal fluency scores to atrophy in frontal and parietal regions. Neuropathologic analysis found greater neuronal loss in the mid-frontal cortex in C9P FTLD, and mid-frontal cortex TDP-43 inclusion severity correlated with poor letter fluency performance.
C9P cases may have a shorter survival in ALS and more rapid rate of cognitive decline related to frontal and parietal disease in FTLD. C9orf72 genotyping may provide useful prognostic and diagnostic clinical information for ALS and FTLD patients.
PMCID: PMC3543474  PMID: 23117491
Frontotemporal dementia; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; C9orf72; neuropsychological tests; neuroimaging
21.  Update on hypothetical model of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers 
Lancet neurology  2013;12(2):207-216.
In 2010, the authors published a hypothetical model of the major biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The model was received with interest because we described the temporal evolution of AD biomarkers in relation to each other and to the onset and progression of clinical symptoms. In the interim, evidence has accumulated that supports the major assumptions of this model. Evidence has also appeared that challenges some of the assumptions underlying our original model. Recent evidence has allowed us to modify our original model. Refinements include indexing subjects by time rather than clinical symptom severity; incorporating inter-subject variability in cognitive response to the progression of AD pathophysiology; modifications of the specific temporal ordering of some biomarkers; and, recognition that the two major proteinopathies underlying AD biomarker changes, Aβ and tau, may be initiated independently in late onset AD where we hypothesize that an incident Aβopathy can accelerate an antecedent tauopathy.
PMCID: PMC3622225  PMID: 23332364
22.  Hypoxia regulates Insulin Receptor Substrate-2 expression to promote breast carcinoma cell survival and invasion 
Cancer research  2009;69(23):8894-8901.
Insulin Receptor Substrate-2 (IRS-2) belongs to the IRS family of adaptor proteins that function as signaling intermediates for growth factor, cytokine and integrin receptors, many of which have been implicated in cancer. Although the IRS proteins share significant homology, distinct functions have been attributed to each family member in both normal and tumor cells. In cancer, IRS-2 is positively associated with aggressive tumor behavior. In the current study, we demonstrate that IRS-2 expression, but not IRS-1 expression, is positively regulated by hypoxia, which selects for tumor cells with increased metastatic potential. We identify IRS-2 as a novel hypoxia responsive gene and establish that IRS-2 gene transcription increases in a HIF-dependent manner in hypoxic environments. IRS-2 is active to mediate IGF-1-dependent signals in hypoxia, and enhanced activation of Akt in hypoxia is dependent upon IRS-2 expression. Functionally, the elevated expression of IRS-2 facilitates breast carcinoma cell survival and invasion in hypoxia. Collectively, our results reveal a novel mechanism by which IRS-2 contributes to the aggressive behavior of hypoxic tumor cells.
PMCID: PMC2789198  PMID: 19920186
IRS-2; hypoxia; HIF; survival; invasion; breast cancer
23.  Can MRI screen for CSF biomarkers in neurodegenerative disease? 
Neurology  2013;80(2):132-138.
Alzheimer disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) may have overlapping clinical presentations despite distinct underlying neuropathologies, thus making in vivo diagnosis challenging. In this study, we evaluate the utility of MRI as a noninvasive screening procedure for the differential diagnosis of AD and FTLD.
We recruited 185 patients with a clinically diagnosed neurodegenerative disease consistent with AD or FTLD who had a lumbar puncture and a volumetric MRI. A subset of 32 patients had genetic or autopsy-confirmed AD or FTLD. We used singular value decomposition to decompose MRI volumes and linear regression and cross-validation to predict CSF total tau (tt) and β-amyloid (Aβ1-42) ratio (tt/Aβ) in patients with AD and patients with FTLD. We then evaluated accuracy of MRI-based predicted tt/Aβ using 4 converging sources including neuroanatomic visualization and categorization of a subset of patients with genetic or autopsy-confirmed AD or FTLD.
Regression analyses showed that MRI-predicted tt/Aβ is highly related to actual CSF tt/Aβ. In each group, both predicted and actual CSF tt/Aβ have extensively overlapping neuroanatomic correlates: low tt/Aβ consistent with FTLD is related to ventromedial prefrontal regions while high tt/Aβ consistent with AD is related to posterior cortical regions. MRI-predicted tt/Aβ is 75% accurate at identifying underlying diagnosis in patients with known pathology and in clinically diagnosed patients with known CSF tt/Aβ levels.
MRI may serve as a noninvasive procedure that can screen for AD and FTLD pathology as a surrogate for CSF biomarkers.
PMCID: PMC3589187  PMID: 23269595
24.  A key tyrosine (Y1494) in the β4 integrin regulates multiple signaling pathways important for tumor development and progression 
Cancer research  2008;68(21):8779-8787.
Expression of the α6β4 integrin is associated with poor patient prognosis and reduced survival in a variety of human cancers. In recent years, a limited number of in vivo studies have examined the contribution of this integrin receptor to cancer progression and they have revealed that the α6β4 integrin plays a multifaceted role in regulating tumor development and progression. In the current study, we investigated the mechanism by which one tyrosine residue in the β4 subunit cytoplasmic domain, Y1494, contributes to the tumor-promoting functions of the α6β4 integrin in vivo. We demonstrate that Y1494 participates in the stimulation of diverse signaling pathways that promote α6β4-dependent tumor growth and invasion. Mutation of Y1494 inhibits the ability of the α6β4 integrin to support anchorage independent growth in vitro and tumor development and angiogenesis in vivo, a result that mimics the loss of total expression of the β4 subunit. Our results support the hypothesis that Y1494 regulates α6β4-dependent anchorage independent growth through activation of the ERK1/2 signaling pathway, and invasion through the combined activation of PI3K and Src. Collectively, our results identify Y1494 as a major regulatory site for signaling from the α6β4 integrin to promote tumor development and progression.
PMCID: PMC2586898  PMID: 18974120
beta4 integrin; tumor growth; signal transduction; invasion; angiogenesis
25.  PENN Biomarker Core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 
Neuro-Signals  2007;16(1):19-23.
There is a pressing need to develop effective prevention and disease-modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a dreaded affliction whose incidence increases almost logarithmically with age starting at about 65 years. A key need in the field of AD research is the validation of imaging and biochemical biomarkers. Biomarker tests that are shown to reliably predict the disease before it is clinically expressed would permit testing of new therapeutics at the earliest time point possible in order to give the best chance for delaying the onset of dementia in these patients. In this review the current state of AD biochemical biomarker research is discussed. A new set of guidelines for the diagnosis of AD in the research setting places emphasis on the inclusion of selected imaging and biochemical biomarkers, in addition to neuropsychological behavioral testing. Importantly, the revised guidelines were developed to identify patients at the earliest stages prior to full-blown dementia as well as patients with the full spectrum of the disease. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative is a multicenter consortium study that includes as one of its primary goals the development of standardized neuroimaging and biochemical biomarker methods for AD clinical trials, as well as using these to measure changes over time in mildly cognitively impaired patients who convert to AD as compared to the natural variability of these in control subjects and their further change over time in AD patients. Validation of the biomarker results by correlation analyses with neuropsychological and neurobehavioral test data is one of the primary outcomes of this study. This validation data will hopefully provide biomarker test performance needed for effective measurement of the efficacy of new treatment and prevention therapeutic agents.
PMCID: PMC2696349  PMID: 18097156
Alzheimer’s disease; Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative; Biomarkers

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