The characterization of AD/PART co-pathology in CJD suggests independent pathogenic mechanisms and no cross-seeding between misfolded Aβ and prion proteins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current evidence indicating a role of the human prion protein (PrP) in amyloid-beta (Aβ) formation or a synergistic effect between Aβ and prion pathology remains controversial. Conflicting results also concern the frequency of the association between the two protein misfolding disorders and the issue of whether the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) and the prion protein gene (PRNP), the major modifiers of Aβ- and PrP-related pathologies, also have a pathogenic role in other proteinopathies, including tau neurofibrillary degeneration. Here, we thoroughly characterized the Alzheimer's disease/primary age-related tauopathy (AD/PART) spectrum in a series of 450 cases with definite sporadic or genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Moreover, we analyzed: (i) the effect of variables known to affect CJD pathogenesis and the co-occurring Aβ- and tau-related pathologies; (II) the influence of APOE genotype on CJD pathology, and (III) the effect of AD/PART co-pathology on the clinical CJD phenotype. AD/PART characterized 74% of CJD brains, with 53.3% and 8.2% showing low or intermediate-high levels of AD pathology, and 12.4 and 11.8% definite or possible PART. There was no significant correlation between variables affecting CJD (i.e., disease subtype, prion strain, PRNP genotype) and those defining the AD/PART spectrum (i.e., ABC score, Thal phase, prevalence of CAA and Braak stage), and no difference in the distribution of APOE ε4 and ε2 genotypes among CJD subtypes. Moreover, AD/PART co-pathology did not significantly affect the clinical presentation of typical CJD, except for a tendency to increase the frequency of cognitive symptoms. Altogether, the present results seem to exclude an increased prevalence AD/PART co-pathology in sporadic and genetic CJD, and indicate that largely independent pathogenic mechanisms drive AD/PART and CJD pathology even when they coexist in the same brain.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalActa neuropathologica communications
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2019

Keywords

  • APOE
  • Aβ-pathology
  • CAA
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Neurodegenerative dementia
  • PART
  • Prion disease
  • Prion strain
  • PRNP
  • Tau-pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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