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Cerebrospinal Fluid Mitochondrial DNA in Rapid and Slow Progressive Forms of Alzheimer’s Disease

AuthorsPodlesniy, Petar ; Llorens, Franc; Puigros Serra, Margalida; Serra, Nuria ; Sepúlveda-Falla, Diego; Schmidt, Christian; Hermann, Peter; Zerr, Inga; Trullas, Ramón
KeywordsMitochondrial DNA
Cerebrospinal fluid
Alzheimer’s disease
Digital PCR
Issue Date31-Aug-2020
PublisherMolecular Diversity Preservation International
CitationInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences 21(17): 6298 (2020)
AbstractAlzheimer’s type dementia (AD) exhibits clinical heterogeneity, as well as differences in disease progression, as a subset of patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD progresses more rapidly (rpAD) than the typical AD of slow progression (spAD). Previous findings indicate that low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) content of cell-free mitochondrial DNA (cf-mtDNA) precedes clinical signs of AD. We have now investigated the relationship between cf-mtDNA and other biomarkers of AD to determine whether a particular biomarker profile underlies the different rates of AD progression. We measured the content of cf-mtDNA, beta-amyloid peptide 1–42 (Aβ), total tau protein (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) in the CSF from a cohort of 95 subjects consisting of 49 controls with a neurologic disorder without dementia, 30 patients with a clinical diagnosis of spAD and 16 patients with rpAD. We found that 37% of controls met at least one AD biomarker criteria, while 53% and 44% of subjects with spAD and rpAD, respectively, did not fulfill the two core AD biomarker criteria: high t-tau and low Aβ in CSF. In the whole cohort, patients with spAD, but not with rpAD, showed a statistically significant 44% decrease of cf-mtDNA in CSF compared to control. When the cohort included only subjects selected by Aβ and t-tau biomarker criteria, the spAD group showed a larger decrease of cf-mtDNA (69%), whereas in the rpAD group cf-mtDNA levels remained unaltered. In the whole cohort, the CSF levels of cf-mtDNA correlated positively with Aβ and negatively with p-tau. Moreover, the ratio between cf-mtDNA and p-tau increased the sensitivity and specificity of spAD diagnosis up to 93% and 94%, respectively, in the biomarker-selected cohort. These results show that the content of cf-mtDNA in CSF correlates with the earliest pathological markers of the disease, Aβ and p-tau, but not with the marker of neuronal damage t-tau. Moreover, these findings confirm that low CSF content of cf-mtDNA is a biomarker for the early detection of AD and support the hypothesis that low cf-mtDNA, together with low Aβ and high p-tau, constitute a distinctive CSF biomarker profile that differentiates spAD from other neurological disorders.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176298
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