Plasma Amyloid-β (Aβ42) Correlates with Cerebrospinal Fluid Aβ42 in Alzheimer's Disease

J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;62(4):1857-1863. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170784.


The 42 amino acid form of amyloid-β (Aβ42) plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and is a core biomarker for the diagnosis of AD. Numerous studies have shown that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) Aβ42 concentrations are decreased in AD, when measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and other conventional immunoassays. While most studies report no change in plasma Aβ42, independent studies using the immunomagnetic reduction (IMR) technique report an increase in plasma Aβ42 levels in AD. To confirm the opposite changes of Aβ42 levels in CSF and plasma for AD, we assayed the levels of Aβ42 in plasma of subjects with known CSF Aβ42 levels. In total 43 controls and 63 AD patients were selected at two sites: the VU University Medical Center (n = 55) and Sahlgrenska University Hospital (n = 51). IMR and ELISA were applied to assay Aβ42 in plasma and CSF, respectively. We found a moderately negative correlation between plasma and CSF Aβ42 levels in AD patients (r = -0.352), and a weakly positive correlation in controls (r = 0.186). These findings further corroborate that there are opposite changes of Aβ42 levels in CSF and plasma in AD. The possible causes for the negative correlation are discussed by taken assay technologies, Aβ42 transport from brain to peripheral blood, and sample matrix into account.

Keywords: Amyloid-β; cerebrospinal fluid; immunomagnetic reduction; plasma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / blood*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptide Fragments / blood*
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid*


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)