Background: Because dementia is an emerging problem in the world, biochemical markers of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and radio-isotopic analyses are helpful for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although blood sample is more feasible and plausible than CSF or radiological biomarkers for screening potential AD, measurements of serum amyloid- β (Aβ), plasma tau, and serum antibodies for Aβ1 - 42 are not yet well established.
Objective: We aimed to identify a new serum biomarker to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD in comparison to cognitively healthy control by a new peptidome technology.
Methods: With only 1.5μl of serum, we examined a new target plate "BLOTCHIP®" plus a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) to discriminate control (n = 100), MCI (n = 60), and AD (n = 99). In some subjects, cognitive Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were compared to positron emission tomography (PET) with Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) and the serum probability of dementia (SPD). The mother proteins of candidate serum peptides were examined in autopsied AD brains.
Results: Apart from Aβ or tau, the present study discovered a new diagnostic 4-peptides-set biomarker for discriminating control, MCI, and AD with 87% of sensitivity and 65% of specificity between control and AD (***p < 0.001). MMSE score was well correlated to brain Aβ deposition and to SPD of AD. The mother proteins of the four peptides were upregulated for coagulation, complement, and plasticity (three proteins), and was downregulated for anti-inflammation (one protein) in AD brains.
Conclusion: The present serum biomarker set provides a new, rapid, non-invasive, highly quantitative and low-cost clinical application for dementia screening, and also suggests an alternative pathomechanism of AD for neuroinflammation and neurovascular unit damage.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; MALDI-TOF; biomarker; coagulation; complement; mild cognitive impairment; neuroinflammation; peptidome; plasticity.