Naturally Occurring Antibodies to Tau Exists in Human Blood and Are Not Changed in Alzheimer's Disease

Neurotox Res. 2020 Apr;37(4):1029-1035. doi: 10.1007/s12640-020-00161-9. Epub 2020 Feb 5.


Hyperphosphorylated tau is an important pathological agent in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Tau effluxes from the brain to the blood could potentially stimulate the production of naturally occurring antibodies (NAbs). We aimed to investigate whether NAbs to tau (NAbs-tau) was generated in human blood and to figure out the alteration of plasma NAbs-tau level in AD patients. About 192 AD patients and 192 age-matched and non-demented controls (NC) were enrolled in the present study. Immunofluorescence staining and western blot assays were used to confirm the existence of NAbs-tau in human blood. The plasma level of NAbs-tau in NC and AD group was analyzed by ELISA. Immunofluorescence staining and western blot assays confirmed the existence of NAbs-tau in human blood. However, no significant difference in the plasma level of NAbs-tau was observed between NC and AD group. Furthermore, the plasma level of NAbs-tau had no significant correlation with MMSE scores. The present study confirmed that NAbs-tau exists in human blood but does not differ in level between the NC and AD group. Plasma NAbs-tau is not a reliable biomarker for AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Biomarker; Naturally occurring antibodies to tau; Tau.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Middle Aged
  • tau Proteins / blood*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • MAPT protein, human
  • tau Proteins