BackgroundAlzheimer's disease (AD) cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) core biomarkers (A & beta;42/40 ratio, p-tau, and t-tau) provide high diagnostic accuracy, even at the earliest stage of disease. However, these markers do not fully reflect the complex AD pathophysiology. Recent large scale CSF proteomic studies revealed several new AD candidate biomarkers related to metabolic pathways. In this study we measured the CSF levels of four metabolism-related proteins not directly linked to amyloid- and tau-pathways (i.e., pyruvate kinase, PKM; aldolase, ALDO; ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1, UCHL1, and fatty acid-binding protein 3, FABP3) across the AD continuum. We aimed at validating the potential value of these proteins as new CSF biomarkers for AD and their possible involvement in AD pathogenesis, with specific interest on the preclinical phase of the disease.MethodsCSF PKM and ALDO activities were measured with specific enzyme assays while UCHL1 and FABP3 levels were measured with immunoassays in a cohort of patients composed as follows: preclinical AD (pre-AD, n = 19, cognitively unimpaired), mild cognitive impairment due to AD (MCI-AD, n = 50), dementia due to AD (ADdem, n = 45), and patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD, n = 37). Individuals with MCI not due to AD (MCI, n = 30) and subjective cognitive decline (SCD, n = 52) with negative CSF AD-profile, were enrolled as control groups.ResultsCSF UCHL1 and FABP3 levels, and PKM activity were significantly increased in AD patients, already at the pre-clinical stage. CSF PKM activity was also increased in FTD patients compared with control groups, being similar between AD and FTD patients. No difference was found in ALDO activity among the groups.UCHL1 showed good performance in discriminating early AD patients (pre-AD and MCI-AD) from controls (AUC similar to 0.83), as assessed by ROC analysis. Similar results were obtained for FABP3. Conversely, PKM provided the best performance when comparing FTD vs. MCI (AUC = 0.80). Combination of PKM, FABP3, and UCHL1 improved the diagnostic accuracy for the detection of patients within the AD continuum when compared with single biomarkers.ConclusionsOur study confirmed the potential role of UCHL1 and FABP3 as neurodegenerative biomarkers for AD. Furthermore, our results validated the increase of PKM activity in CSF of AD patients, already at the preclinical phase of the disease. Increased PKM activity was observed also in FTD patients, possibly underlining similar alterations in energy metabolism in AD and FTD.
Paciotti, Silvia;Bellomo, Giovanni;Toja, Andrea;Chipi, Elena;Gaetani, Lorenzo;Parnetti, Lucilla
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