Associations between air pollution and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in cognitively unimpaired individuals

for the ALFA study

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Abstract

Background: Air quality contributes to incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) although the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are unclear. This study was aimed to examine the association between air pollution and concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) AD biomarkers and amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition. Participants and methods The sample included 156 cognitively unimpaired adults aged 57 years (61 at biomarkers assessment) with increased risk of AD from the ALFA + Study. We examined CSF levels of Aβ42, Aβ40, p-Tau, t-Tau, neurofilament light (NfL) and cerebral amyloid load (Centiloid). A Land Use Regression model from 2009 was used to estimate residential exposure to air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2,) and particulate matter (PM2.5, PM2.5 abs, PM10). This model was considered a surrogate of long-term exposure until time of data collection in 2013–2014. Participants have resided in the same residence for at least the previous 3 years. Multiple linear regression models were used to estimate associations between air pollutants and biomarkers. The effect modification by CSF Aβ status and APOE-ε4 carriership was also assessed. Results: A consistent pattern of results indicated that greater exposure to NO2 and PM2.5 absorbance was associated with higher levels of brain Aβ deposition, while greater exposure to PM10 and PM2.5was associated with higher levels of CSF NfL. Most associations were driven by individuals that were Aβ-positive. Although APOE-ε4 status did not significantly modify these associations, the effect of air pollutants exposure on CSF NfL levels was stronger in APOE-ε4 carriers. Conclusion: In a population of cognitively unimpaired adults with increased risk of AD, long-term exposure to air pollution was associated with higher levels in biomarkers of AD pathology. While further research is granted to elucidate the mechanisms involved in such associations, our results reinforce the role of air pollution as an environmental risk factor for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106864
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironment international
Volume157
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding sources
The project leading to these results has received funding from “la Caixa” Foundation (ID 100010434), under agreement LCF/PR/GN17/50300004 and the Alzheimer’s Association and an international anonymous charity foundation through the TriBEKa Imaging Platform project (TriBEKa-17-519007). Additional support has been received from the Universities and Research Secretariat, Ministry of Business and Knowledge of the Catalan Government under the grant no. 2017-SGR-892.

SA is funded by a Juan de la Cierva – Incorporación Postdoctoral Contract awarded by Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (IJCI-2017-34068). NV-T is funded by a post-doctoral grant, Juan de la Cierva Programme (FJC2018-038085-I), Ministry of Science and Innovation– Spanish State Research Agency. MS-C received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action grant agreement No 752310, and currently receives funding from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI19/00155) and from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Juan de la Cierva Programme grant IJC2018-037478-I). EMA-U is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities - Spanish State Research Agency (RYC2018-026053-I). OG-R is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (FJCI-2017-33437). JDG is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (RYC-2013-13054). HZ is a Wallenberg Scholar supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (#2018-02532), the European Research Council (#681712), Swedish State Support for Clinical Research (#ALFGBG-720931), the Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), USA (#201809-2016862), and the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL.

KB is supported by the Swedish Research Council (#2017-00915), the Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), USA (#RDAPB-201809-2016615), the Swedish Alzheimer Foundation (#AF-742881), Hjärnfonden, Sweden (#FO2017-0243), the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the County Councils, the ALF-agreement (#ALFGBG-715986), and European Union Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Disorders (JPND2019-466-236). All CRG authors acknowledge the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities to the EMBL partnership, the Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa and the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya. ISGlobal acknowledge support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the “Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa 2019–2023” Program (CEX2018-000806-S), and support from the Generalitat de Catalunya through the CERCA Program

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© 2021 The Authors

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