Subjects harboring presenilin familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations exhibit diverse white matter biochemistry alterations

Alex E. Roher, Chera L. Maarouf, Michael Malek-Ahmadi, Jeffrey Wilson, Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ian D. Daugs, Charisse M. Whiteside, Walter M. Kalback, Mi Mi P. Macias, Sandra A. Jacobson, Marwan N. Sabbagh, Bernardino Ghetti, Thomas G. Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia impacts all facets of higher order cognitive function and is characterized by the presence of distinctive pathological lesions in the gray matter (GM). The profound alterations in GM structure and function have fostered the view that AD impacts are primarily a consequence of GM damage. However, the white matter (WM) represents about 50% of the cerebrum and this area of the brain is substantially atrophied and profoundly abnormal in both sporadic AD (SAD) and familial AD (FAD). We examined the WM biochemistry by ELISA and Western blot analyses of key proteins in 10 FAD cases harboring mutations in the presenilin genes PSEN1 and PSEN2 as well as in 4 non-demented control (NDC) individuals and 4 subjects with SAD. The molecules examined were direct substrates of PSEN1 such as Notch-1 and amyloid precursor protein (APP). In addition, apolipoproteins, axonal transport molecules, cytoskeletal and structural proteins, neurotrophic factors and synaptic proteins were examined. PSEN-FAD subjects had, on average, higher amounts of WM amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides compared to SAD, which may play a role in the devastating dysfunction of the brain. However, the PSEN-FAD mutations we examined did not produce uniform increases in the relative proportions of Aβ42 and exhibited substantial variability in total Aβ levels. These observations suggest that neurodegeneration and dementia do not depend solely on enhanced Aβ42 levels. Our data revealed additional complexities in PSEN-FAD individuals. Some direct substrates of γ-secretase, such as Notch, N-cadherin, Erb-B4 and APP, deviated substantially from the NDC group baseline for some, but not all, mutation types. Proteins that were not direct γ-secretase substrates, but play key structural and functional roles in the WM, likewise exhibited varied concentrations in the distinct PSEN mutation backgrounds. Detailing the diverse biochemical pathology spectrum of PSEN mutations may offer valuable insights into dementia progression and the design of effective therapeutic interventions for both SAD and FAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-207
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume2
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 30 2013

Keywords

  • Amyloid precursor protein
  • Amyloid-beta
  • Familial Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gray matter
  • Presenilin
  • Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease
  • White matter
  • γ-secretase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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  • Cite this

    Roher, A. E., Maarouf, C. L., Malek-Ahmadi, M., Wilson, J., Kokjohn, T. A., Daugs, I. D., Whiteside, C. M., Kalback, W. M., Macias, M. M. P., Jacobson, S. A., Sabbagh, M. N., Ghetti, B., & Beach, T. G. (2013). Subjects harboring presenilin familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations exhibit diverse white matter biochemistry alterations. American Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases, 2(3), 187-207.