Objective: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, such as α-synuclein (α-syn), amyloid beta peptide 1-42 (Aβ1-42), phosphorylated tau (181P) (p-tau), and total tau (t-tau), have long been associated with the development of Parkinson disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. In this investigation, we reported the assessment of CSF biomarkers and their correlations with vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) bindings measured with 18F-9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine (18F-AV133) that is being developed as a biomarker for PD. We test the hypothesis that monoaminergic degeneration was correlated with CSF biomarker levels in untreated PD patients.
Methods: The available online data from the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative study (PPMI) project were collected and analyzed, which include demographic information, clinical evaluations, CSF biomarkers (α-syn, Aβ1-42, p-tau, and t-tau), 18F-AV133 brain PET, and T1 weighted MRIs. Region of interest (ROI) and voxel-wise Pearson correlation between standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) and CSF biomarkers were calculated.
Results: Our major findings are: 1) Compared with controls, CSF α-syn and tau levels decreased significantly in PD; 2) α-syn was closely correlated with Aβ1-42 and tau in PD, especially in early-onset patients; and 3) hypothesis-driven ROI analysis found a significant negative correlation between CSF Aβ1-42 levels and VMAT2 densities in post cingulate, left caudate, left anterior putamen, and left ventral striatum in PDs. CSF t-tau and p-tau levels were significantly negatively related to VMAT2 SUVRs in substantia nigra and left ventral striatum, respectively. Voxel-wise analysis showed that left caudate, parahippocampal gyrus, insula and temporal lobe were negatively correlated with Aβ1-42. In addition, superior frontal gyrus and transverse temporal gyrus were negatively correlated with CSF p-tau levels.
Conclusion: These results suggest that monoaminergic degeneration in PD is correlated with CSF biomarkers associated with cognitive impairment in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. The association between loss of dopamine synaptic function and pathologic protein accumulations in PD indicates an important role of CSF biomarkers in PD development.