Blood phosphorylated tau (p-tau) biomarkers, at differing sites, demonstrate high accuracy to detect Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, knowledge on the optimal marker for disease identification across the AD continuum and the link to pathology is limited. This is partly due to heterogeneity in analytical methods. In this study, we employed an immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry method to simultaneously quantify six phosphorylated (p-tau181, p-tau199, p-tau202, p-tau205, p-tau217 and p-tau231) and two non-phosphorylated plasma tau peptides in a total of 214 participants from the Paris Lariboisière and Translational Biomarkers of Aging and Dementia cohorts. Our results indicate that p-tau217, p-tau231 and p-tau205 are the plasma tau forms that best reflect AD-related brain changes, although with distinct emergences along the disease course and correlations with AD features-amyloid and tau. These findings support the differential association of blood p-tau variants with AD pathology, and our method offers a potential tool for disease staging in clinical trials.
© 2023. The Author(s).