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1.  The Spectrum of Mutations in Progranulin 
Archives of neurology  2010;67(2):161-170.
Mutation in the progranulin gene (GRN) can cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, it is unclear whether some rare FTD-related GRN variants are pathogenic and whether neurodegenerative disorders other than FTD can also be caused by GRN mutations.
To delineate the range of clinical presentations associated with GRN mutations and to define pathogenic candidacy of rare GRN variants.
Case-control study.
Clinical and neuropathology dementia research studies at 8 academic centers.
Four hundred thirty-four patients with FTD, including primary progressive aphasia, semantic dementia, FTD/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), FTD/motor neuron disease, corticobasal syndrome/corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, Pick disease, dementia lacking distinctive histopathology, and pathologically confirmed cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U); and 111 non-FTD cases (controls) in which TDP-43 deposits were a prominent neuropathological feature, including subjects with ALS, Guam ALS and/or parkinsonism dementia complex, Guam dementia, Alzheimer disease, multiple system atrophy, and argyrophilic grain disease.
Main Outcome Measures
Variants detected on sequencing of all 13 GRN exons and at least 80 base pairs of flanking introns, and their pathogenic candidacy determined by in silico and ex vivo splicing assays.
We identified 58 genetic variants that included 26 previously unknown changes. Twenty-four variants appeared to be pathogenic, including 8 novel mutations. The frequency of GRN mutations was 6.9% (30 of 434) of all FTD-spectrum cases, 21.4% (9 of 42) of cases with a pathological diagnosis of FTLD-U, 16.0% (28 of 175) of FTD-spectrum cases with a family history of a similar neurodegenerative disease, and 56.2% (9 of 16) of cases of FTLD-U with a family history.
Pathogenic mutations were found only in FTD-spectrum cases and not in other related neurodegenerative diseases. Haploinsufficiency of GRN is the predominant mechanism leading to FTD.
PMCID: PMC2901991  PMID: 20142524
2.  Transactive Response DNA-Binding Protein 43 Burden in Familial Alzheimer Disease and Down Syndrome 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(12):1483-1488.
To assess the transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) burden in familial forms of Alzheimer disease (FAD) and Down syndrome (DS) to determine whether TDP-43 inclusions are also present.
Using standard immunohistochemical techniques, we examined brain tissue samples from 42 subjects with FAD and 14 with DS.
We found pathological TDP-43 aggregates in 14.0% of participants (6 of 42 and 2 of 14 participants with FAD and DS, respectively). In both FAD and DS, TDP-43 immunoreactivity did not colocalize with neurofibrillary tangles. Occasionally participants with FAD or DS had TDP-43–positive neuropil threads or dots. Overall, the amygdala was most commonly affected, followed by the hippocampus, with no TDP-43 pathology in neocortical regions. A similar distribution of TDP-43 inclusions is seen in sporadic Alzheimer disease, but it differs from that seen in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.
Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 pathology occurs in FAD and DS, similar to that observed in sporadic Alzheimer disease. Thus, pathological TDP-43 may contribute the cognitive impairments in familial and sporadic forms of Alzheimer disease.
PMCID: PMC2864642  PMID: 20008652
3.  Clinical and Pathological Continuum of Multisystem TDP-43 Proteinopathies 
Archives of neurology  2009;66(2):180-189.
To determine the extent of transactivation response DNA-binding protein with a molecular weight of 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology in the central nervous system of patients with clinically and autopsy-confirmed diagnoses of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with and without motor neuron disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without cognitive impairment.
Performance of immunohistochemical whole–central nervous system scans for evidence of pathological TDP-43 and retrospective clinical medical record review.
An academic medical center.
We included 64 patients with clinically and pathologically confirmed frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions with or without motor neuron disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with or without cognitive impairment.
Main Outcome Measure
Neuronal and glial TDP-43 pathology.
We found evidence of neuronal and glial TDP-43 pathology in all disease groups throughout the neuraxis, albeit with variations in the frequency, morphology, and distribution of TDP-43 lesions. Moreover, the major clinical manifestations (eg, cognitive impairments, motor neuron signs, extrapyramidal symptoms, neuropsychiatric features) were reflected by the predominant distribution and burden of TDP-43 pathology.
These findings strongly suggest that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or motor neuron disease, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions are different manifestations of a multiple-system TDP-43 proteinopathy linked to similar mechanisms of neurodegeneration.
PMCID: PMC2774117  PMID: 19204154
4.  Two German Kindreds with Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis due to TARDBP Mutations 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(9):1185-1189.
Abnormal neuronal inclusions composed of the TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) are the characteristic neuropathological lesions in sporadic and familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This makes TARDBP, the gene encoding for TDP-43, an interesting candidate gene for genetic screening in ALS.
To investigate the presence and frequency of TARDBP mutations in ALS.
Genetic analysis
One hundred thirty-four patiens with sporadic ALS, 31 patients with familial non-SOD1-ALS, and 400 healthy control subjects.
We identified two missense mutations in TARDBP (G348C and the novel N352S) in two small kindreds with a hereditary form of ALS with early spinal onset resulting in fatal respiratory insufficiency without clinical relevant bulbar symptoms or signs of cognitive impairment. The mutations located in the C-terminus of TDP-43 were absent in 400 Caucasian control individuals. The novel identified N352S mutation is predicted to increase TDP-43 phosphorylation while the G348C mutation might interfere with normal TDP-43 function by forming intermolecular disulfide bridges.
Mutations in TARDBP are a rare cause of familial non-SOD1-ALS. The identification of TARDBP mutations provides strong evidence for a direct link between TDP-43 dysfunction and neurodegeneration in ALS.
PMCID: PMC2742976  PMID: 18779421
5.  TDP-43 in Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients With Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 
Archives of neurology  2008;65(11):1481-1487.
Recently, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was identified as the major component of ubiquitin-positive tau-negative neuronal and glial inclusions in the most common form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was demonstrated that different TDP-43 profiles correspond to clinical phenotypes of FTLD or ALS subgroups, and the differential diagnostic potential of TDP-43 was suggested.
To examine TDP-43 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and to analyze whether it could serve as a diagnostic marker.
We characterized CSF TDP-43 by immunoblot using different TDP-43 antibodies and determined the relative TDP-43 levels in CSF samples from patients.
Academic research.
Twelve patients with FTLD, 15 patients with ALS, 9 patients with ALS plus FTLD, 3 patients with ALS plus additional signs of frontal disinhibition, and 13 control subjects.
Main Outcome Measures
Results of TDP-43 immunoblot.
Polyclonal TDP-43 antibodies recognized a 45-kDa band in all analyzed samples. Two monoclonal and N-terminus—specific antibodies did not detect any specific bands, but C-terminus—specific antibodies detected a 45-kDa band and additional bands at approximately 20 kDa in all CSF samples. Relative quantification of 45-kDa bands revealed significant differences among the diagnostic groups (P=.046). Specifically, patients with ALS (P=.03) and FTLD (P=.02) had higher TDP-43 levels than controls but with a prominent overlap of values.
Although there is no evidence of pathologically altered TDP-43 proteins in CSF, TDP-43 levels in CSF might aid in characterizing subgroups of patients across the ALS and FTLD disease spectrum.
PMCID: PMC2690860  PMID: 19001167

Results 1-5 (5)