Nature, Scientific Reports 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid sTREM2 in Alzheimer’s disease: comparisons between clinical presentation and AT classification

Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) is an innate immune receptor expressed by microglia. Its cleaved fragments, soluble TREM2 (sTREM2), can be measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Previous studies indicate higher CSF sTREM2 in symptomatic AD; however most of these studies have included biomarker positive AD cases and biomarker negative controls. The aim of the study was to explore potential differences in the CSF level of sTREM2 and factors associated with an increased sTREM2 level in patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia due to AD compared with cognitively unimpaired controls as judged by clinical symptoms and biomarker category (AT). We included 299 memory clinic patients, 62 (20.7%) with AD-MCI and 237 (79.3%) with AD dementia, and 113 cognitively unimpaired controls. CSF measures of the core biomarkers were applied to determine AT status. CSF sTREM2 was analyzed by ELISA. Patients presented with comparable CSF sTREM2 levels as the cognitively unimpaired (9.6 ng/ml [SD 4.7] versus 8.8 ng/ml [SD 3.6], p = 0.27). We found that CSF sTREM2 associated with age-related neuroinflammation and tauopathy irrespectively of amyloid β, APOE ε4 status or gender. The findings were similar in both symptomatic and non-symptomatic individuals.

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