Objective: We aimed to investigate the relationship between cerebrospinal fluid levels (CSF) of amyloid precursor protein (APP)-derived peptides related to the amyloidogenic pathway, cortical thickness, neuropsychological performance, and cortical gene expression profiles in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)-related syndromes, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and healthy controls.
Methods: We included 214 participants with CSF available recruited at two centers: 93 with FTLD-related syndromes, 57 patients with AD, and 64 healthy controls. CSF levels of amyloid β (Aβ)1-42, Aβ1-40, Aβ1-38, and soluble β fragment of APP (sAPPβ) were centrally analyzed. We compared CSF levels of APP-derived peptides between groups and, we studied the correlation between CSF biomarkers, cortical thickness, and domain-specific cognitive composites in each group. Then, we explored the relationship between cortical thickness, CSF levels of APP-derived peptides, and regional gene expression profile using a brain-wide regional gene expression data in combination with gene set enrichment analysis.
Results: The CSF levels of Aβ1-40, Aβ1-38, and sAPPβ were lower in the FTLD-related syndromes group than in the AD and healthy controls group. CSF levels of all APP-derived peptides showed a positive correlation with cortical thickness and the executive cognitive composite in the FTLD-related syndromes group but not in the healthy control or AD groups. In the cortical regions where we observed a significant association between cortical thickness and CSF levels of APP-derived peptides, we found a reduced expression of genes related to synaptic function.
Interpretation: APP-derived peptides in CSF may reflect FTLD-related neurodegeneration. This observation has important implications as Aβ1-42 levels are considered an indirect biomarker of cerebral amyloidosis.
© 2019 The Authors. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc on behalf of American Neurological Association.