Transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) pathology is a hallmark of limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE). The amygdala is affected early in the evolution of LATE neuropathologic change (LATE-NC), and heterogeneity of LATE-NC in amygdala has previously been observed. However, much remains to be learned about how LATE-NC originates and progresses in the brain. To address this, we assessed TDP-43 and other pathologies in the amygdala region of 184 autopsied subjects (median age = 85 years), blinded to clinical diagnoses, other neuropathologic diagnoses, and risk genotype information. As previously described, LATE-NC was associated with older age at death, cognitive impairment, and the TMEM106B risk allele. Pathologically, LATE-NC was associated with comorbid hippocampal sclerosis (HS), myelin loss, and vascular disease in white matter (WM). Unbiased hierarchical clustering of TDP-43 inclusion morphologies revealed discernable subtypes of LATE-NC with distinct clinical, genetic, and pathologic associations. The most common patterns were: Pattern 1, with lamina II TDP-43 + processes and preinclusion pathology in cortices of the amygdala region, and frequent LATE-NC Stage 3 with HS; Pattern 2, previously described as type-β, with neurofibrillary tangle-like TDP-43 neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), high Alzheimer's disease neuropathologic change (ADNC), frequent APOE ε4, and usually LATE-NC Stage 2; Pattern 3, with round NCIs and thick neurites in amygdala, younger age at death, and often comorbid Lewy body disease; and Pattern 4 (the most common pattern), with tortuous TDP-43 processes in subpial and WM regions, low ADNC, rare HS, and lower dementia probability. TDP-43 pathology with features of patterns 1 and 2 were often comorbid in the same brains. Early and mild TDP-43 pathology was often best described to be localized in the "amygdala region" rather than the amygdala proper. There were also important shared attributes across patterns. For example, all four patterns were associated with the TMEM106B risk allele. Each pattern also demonstrated the potential to progress to higher LATE-NC stages with confluent anatomical and pathological patterns, and to contribute to dementia. Although LATE-NC showed distinct patterns of initiation in amygdala region, there was also apparent shared genetic risk and convergent pathways of clinico-pathological evolution.
Keywords: DLB; GRN; Lewy; Neuropathology; Nondemented; PART; Preclinical; Tauopathy.
© 2022. The Author(s).