Quantification of SNAP-25 with mass spectrometry and Simoa: a method comparison in Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2022 Jun 4;14(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s13195-022-01021-8.


Background: Synaptic dysfunction and degeneration are central to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and have been found to correlate strongly with cognitive decline. Thus, studying cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers reflecting synaptic degeneration, such as the presynaptic protein synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25), is of importance to better understand the AD pathophysiology.

Methods: We compared a newly developed Single molecule array (Simoa) immunoassay for SNAP-25 with an in-house immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry (IP-MS) method in a well-characterized clinical cohort (n = 70) consisting of cognitively unimpaired (CU) and cognitively impaired (CI) individuals with and without Aβ pathology (Aβ+ and Aβ-).

Results: A strong correlation (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (rs) > 0.88; p < 0.0001) was found between the Simoa and IP-MS methods, and no statistically significant difference was found for their clinical performance to identify AD pathophysiology in the form of Aβ pathology. Increased CSF SNAP-25 levels in CI Aβ+ compared with CU Aβ- (Simoa, p ≤ 0.01; IP-MS, p ≤ 0.05) and CI Aβ- (Simoa, p ≤ 0.01; IP-MS, p ≤ 0.05) were observed. In independent blood samples (n = 32), the Simoa SNAP-25 assay was found to lack analytical sensitivity for quantification of SNAP-25 in plasma.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the Simoa SNAP-25 method can be used interchangeably with the IP-MS method for the quantification of SNAP-25 in CSF. Additionally, these results confirm that CSF SNAP-25 is increased in relation to amyloid pathology in the AD continuum.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Biomarkers; Mass spectrometry; SNAP-25; Synaptic pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cognitive Dysfunction*
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25 / cerebrospinal fluid
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Synaptosomal-Associated Protein 25
  • tau Proteins