CSF Synaptic Biomarkers in the Preclinical Stage of Alzheimer Disease and Their Association With MRI and PET: A Cross-sectional Study

Marta Milà-Alomà, Ann Brinkmalm, Nicholas J. Ashton, Hlin Kvartsberg, Mahnaz Shekari, Grégory Operto, Gemma Salvadó, Carles Falcon, Juan Domingo Gispert, Natalia Vilor-Tejedor, Eider M. Arenaza-Urquijo, Oriol Grau-Rivera, Aleix Sala-Vila, Gonzalo Sanchez-Benavides, José María González-De-Echávarri, Carolina Minguillon, Karine Fauria, Aida Niñerola-Baizán, Andrés Perissinotti, Gwendlyn KollmorgenIvonne Suridjan, Henrik Zetterberg, José Luis Molinuevo, Kaj Blennow, Marc Suárez-Calvet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background and Objectives To determine whether CSF synaptic biomarkers are altered in the early preclinical stage of the Alzheimer continuum and associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) risk factors, primary pathology, and neurodegeneration markers. Methods This cross-sectional study was performed in the Alzheimer’s and Families (ALFA+) cohort, comprising middle-aged cognitively unimpaired participants. CSF neurogranin and growth-associated protein-43 (GAP-43) were measured with immunoassays, and synaptosomal-associated protein-25 (SNAP-25) and synaptotagmin-1 were measured with immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry. AD CSF biomarkers β-amyloid (Aβ)42/40, phosphorylated tau (p-tau), and total tau and the neurodegeneration biomarker neurofilament light chain (NfL) were also measured. Participants underwent structural MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose and Aβ PET imaging. General linear modeling was used to test the associations between CSF synaptic biomarkers and risk factors, Aβ pathology, tau pathology, and neurodegeneration markers. Results All CSF synaptic biomarkers increased with age. CSF neurogranin was higher in females, while CSF SNAP-25 was higher in APOE e4 carriers. All CSF synaptic biomarkers increased with higher Aβ load (as measured by CSF Aβ42/40 and Aβ PET Centiloid values), and it is important to note that the synaptic biomarkers were increased even in individuals in the earliest stages of Aβ deposition. Higher CSF synaptic biomarkers were also associated with higher CSF p-tau and NfL. Higher CSF neurogranin and GAP-43 were significantly associated with higher brain metabolism but lower cortical thickness in AD-related brain regions. Discussion CSF synaptic biomarkers increase in the early preclinical stages of the Alzheimer continuum even when a low burden of Aβ pathology is present, and they differ in their association with age, sex, APOE e4, and markers of neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2065-E2078
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Article Processing Charge was funded by the authors.

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from ?la Caixa? Foundation (LCF/PR/GN17/10300004) 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 grant 2017-SGR-892. J.D.G. holds a ?Ram?n y Cajal? fellowship (RYC-2013-13054). E. Arenaza-Urquijo is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities?Spanish State Research Agency (RYC2018-026053-I). N. Vilor-Tejedor is funded by a postdoctoral grant, Juan de la Cierva Programme (FJC2018-038085-I), Ministry of Science and Innovation? Spanish State Research Agency. Her research has received additional support of ?la Caixa? Foundation (LCF/PR/GN17/10300004) and the Health Department of the Catalan Government (Health Research and Innovation Strategic Plan 2016?2020 grant SLT002/16/00201). All Centre for Genomic Regulation 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. O. Grau-Rivera is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (FJCI-2017-33437) and receives funding from the Alzheimer?s Association Research Fellowship Program (2019-AARF-644568). A. Sala-Vila is the recipient of an Instituto de Salud Carlos III Miguel Servet II fellowship (CP II 17/00029). H. Zetterberg is a Wallenberg Scholar supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (No. 2018-02532), European Research Council (No. 681712), Swedish State Support for Clinical Research (No. ALFGBG-720931), Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (No. 201809-2016862), and the UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL. K. Blennow is supported by the Swedish Research Council (No. 2017-00915), Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation (No. RDAPB-201809-2016615), Swedish Alzheimer Foundation (No. AF-742881), Hj?rnfonden, Sweden (No. FO2017-0243), the Swedish state under the agreement between the Swedish government and the county councils, the ALF agreement (No. ALFGBG-715986), European Union Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Disorders (JPND2019-466-236), and NIH (No. 1R01AG068398-01). M. Su?rez-Calvet receives funding from the European Research Council under the European Union?s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement 948677). M. Su?rez-Calvet also receives funding from the 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).

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