Plasma protein biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes in asymptomatic older twins: early cognitive decline and regional brain volumes.
Kiddle SJ., Steves CJ., Mehta M., Simmons A., Xu X., Newhouse S., Sattlecker M., Ashton NJ., Bazenet C., Killick R., Adnan J., Westman E., Nelson S., Soininen H., Kloszewska I., Mecocci P., Tsolaki M., Vellas B., Curtis C., Breen G., Williams SCR., Lovestone S., Spector TD., Dobson RJB.
There is great interest in blood-based markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD), especially in its pre-symptomatic stages. Therefore, we aimed to identify plasma proteins whose levels associate with potential markers of pre-symptomatic AD. We also aimed to characterise confounding by genetics and the effect of genetics on blood proteins in general. Panel-based proteomics was performed using SOMAscan on plasma samples from TwinsUK subjects who are asymptomatic for AD, measuring the level of 1129 proteins. Protein levels were compared with 10-year change in CANTAB-paired associates learning (PAL; n = 195), and regional brain volumes (n = 34). Replication of proteins associated with regional brain volumes was performed in 254 individuals from the AddNeuroMed cohort. Across all the proteins measured, genetic factors were found to explain ~26% of the variability in blood protein levels on average. The plasma level of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) MAPKAPK5 protein was found to positively associate with the 10-year change in CANTAB-PAL in both the individual and twin difference context. The plasma level of protein MAP2K4 was found to suggestively associate negatively (Q < 0.1) with the volume of the left entorhinal cortex. Future studies will be needed to assess the specificity of MAPKAPK5 and MAP2K4 to eventual conversion to AD.