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      Autoradiography validation of novel tau PET tracer [F-18]-MK-6240 on human postmortem brain tissue

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          Abstract

          [F-18]-MK-6240, a novel tau positron emission tomography (PET) tracer recently discovered for the in vivo detection of neurofibrillary tangles, has the potential to improve diagnostic accuracy in the detection of Alzheimer disease. We have examined regional and substrate-specific binding patterns as well as possible off-target binding of this tracer on human brain tissue to advance towards its validation. We applied [F-18]-MK-6240 phosphor screen and high resolution autoradiography to postmortem samples from patients with a definite pathological diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-tau (Pick’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration), chronic traumatic encephalopathy, frontotemporal lobar degeneration-Tar DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), dementia with Lewy bodies, cerebral amyloid angiopathy and elderly controls free of pathologic changes of neurodegenerative disease. We also directly compared the binding properties of [F-18]-MK-6240 and [F-18]-AV-1451 in human tissue, and examined potential nonspecific binding of both tau tracers to monoamine oxidases (MAO) by using autoradiography in the presence of selective monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitors. Our data indicate that MK-6240 strongly binds to neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer disease but does not seem to bind to a significant extent to tau aggregates in non-Alzheimer tauopathies, suggesting that it may have a limited utility for the in vivo detection of these pathologies. There is no evidence of binding to lesions containing β-amyloid, α-synuclein or TDP-43. In addition, we identified MK-6240 strong off-target binding to neuromelanin and melanin-containing cells, and some weaker binding to areas of hemorrhage. These binding patterns are nearly identical to those previously reported by our group and others for [F-18]-AV-1451. Of note, [F-18]-MK-6240 and [F-18]-AV-1451 autoradiographic binding signals were only weakly displaced by competing concentrations of selective MAO-B inhibitor deprenyl but not by MAO-A inhibitor clorgyline, suggesting that MAO enzymes do not appear to be a significant binding target of any of these two tracers. Together these novel findings provide relevant insights for the correct interpretation of in vivo [F-18]-MK-6240 PET imaging.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Mutation-specific functional impairments in distinct tau isoforms of hereditary FTDP-17.

          Tau proteins aggregate as cytoplasmic inclusions in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and hereditary frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17). Over 10 exonic and intronic mutations in the tau gene have been identified in about 20 FTDP-17 families. Analyses of soluble and insoluble tau proteins from brains of FTDP-17 patients indicated that different pathogenic mutations differentially altered distinct biochemical properties and stoichiometry of brain tau isoforms. Functional assays of recombinant tau proteins with different FTDP-17 missense mutations implicated all but one of these mutations in disease pathogenesis by reducing the ability of tau to bind microtubules and promote microtubule assembly.
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            An autoradiographic evaluation of AV-1451 Tau PET in dementia

            Background It is essential to determine the specificity of AV-1451 PET for tau in brain imaging by using pathological comparisons. We performed autoradiography in autopsy-confirmed Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders to evaluate the specificity of AV-1451 binding for tau aggregates. Methods Tissue samples were selected that had a variety of dementia-related neuropathologies including Alzheimer disease, primary age-related tauopathy, tangle predominant dementia, non-Alzheimer disease tauopathies, frontotemporal dementia, parkinsonism, Lewy body disease and multiple system atrophy (n = 38). Brain tissue sections were stained for tau, TAR DNA-binding protein-43, and α-synuclein and compared to AV-1451 autoradiography on adjacent sections. Results AV-1451 preferentially localized to neurofibrillary tangles, with less binding to areas enriched in neuritic pathology and less mature tau. The strength of AV-1451 binding with respect to tau isoforms in various neurodegenerative disorders was: 3R + 4R tau (e.g., AD) > 3R tau (e.g., Pick disease) or 4R tau. Only minimal binding of AV-1451 to TAR DNA-binding protein-43 positive regions was detected. No binding of AV-1451 to α-synuclein was detected. “Off-target” binding was seen in vessels, iron-associated regions, substantia nigra, calcifications in the choroid plexus, and leptomeningeal melanin. Conclusions Reduced AV-1451 binding in neuritic pathology compared to neurofibrillary tangles suggests that the maturity of tau pathology may affect AV-1451 binding and suggests complexity in AV-1451 binding. Poor association of AV-1451 with tauopathies that have preferential accumulation of either 4R tau or 3R tau suggests limited clinical utility in detecting these pathologies. In contrast, for disorders associated with 3R + 4R tau, such as Alzheimer disease, AV-1451 binds tau avidly but does not completely reflect the early stage tau progression suggested by Braak neurofibrillary tangle staging. AV-1451 binding to TAR DNA-binding protein-43 or TAR DNA-binding protein-43 positive regions can be weakly positive. Clinical use of AV-1451 will require a familiarity with distinct types of “off-target” binding. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40478-016-0315-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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              The topographical and neuroanatomical distribution of neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques in the cerebral cortex of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

               S Arnold,  B. Hyman,  J Flory (2015)
              The distribution of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and neuritic plaques (NPs) was mapped in 39 cortical areas of 11 brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Whole hemisphere blocks were embedded in polyethylene glycol (Carbowax), sectioned coronally, and stained with thioflavin S and thionin. The densities of NFTs and NPs were assessed using a numerical rating scale for each area. Scores were grouped by type of cortex and by lobe for statistical analysis. Highly significant differences were obtained. For example, limbic periallocortex and allocortex had more NFTs than any other type of cortex. In descending order, the density of NFTs was as follows: periallocortex (area 28) greater than allocortex (subiculum/CA1 zones of hippocampal formation, area 51) greater than corticoid areas (accessory basal nucleus of amygdala, nucleus basalis of Meynert) greater than proisocortex (areas 11, 12, 24, 23, anterior insula, 38, 35) greater than nonprimary association cortex (32, 46, superior temporal sulcus, 40, 39, posterior parahippocampal cortex, 37, 36) greater than primary sensory association cortex (7, 18, 19, 22, 21, 20) greater than agranular cortex (44-5, 8, 6, 4) greater than primary sensory cortex (41-2, 3-1-2, 17). The laminar distribution of NFTs tended to be selective, involving primarily layers III and V of association areas and layers II and IV of limbic periallocortex. There were far more NFTs in both limbic and temporal lobes than in frontal, parietal, and occipital lobes. In general, NPs were more evenly distributed throughout the cortex, with the exceptions of limbic periallocortex and allocortex, which had notably fewer NPs than other cortical areas. Temporal and occipital lobes had the highest NP densities, limbic and frontal lobes had the lowest, and parietal lobe was intermediate. No significant left-right hemispheric differences for NFT or NP densities were found across the population, and there was no relationship between duration of illness and densities of NFTs or NPs. The regional and laminar distribution of NFTs (and, to a lesser degree, that of NPs) suggests a consistent pattern of vulnerability within the cerebral cortices that seems correlated to the hierarchies of cortico-cortical connections. The higher-order association cortices, especially those in the anterior and ventromedial sectors of temporal lobe, are the most vulnerable, while other cortices appear less vulnerable to a degree commensurate with their connectional "distance" (i.e., synapses removed) from the limbic areas.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                +1.617.643-5562 , tgomezisla@mgh.harvard.edu
                Journal
                Acta Neuropathol Commun
                Acta Neuropathol Commun
                Acta Neuropathologica Communications
                BioMed Central (London )
                2051-5960
                11 March 2019
                11 March 2019
                2019
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9924, GRID grid.32224.35, Department of Neurology, , Massachusetts General Hospital, ; WACC, Suite 715, 15th Parkman St., Boston, MA 02114 USA
                [2 ]MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Charlestown, MA USA
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9924, GRID grid.32224.35, Center for Advanced Medical Imaging Sciences, Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, , Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, ; Boston, MA USA
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2308 1657, GRID grid.462844.8, AP-HP, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, , Sorbonne University, UPMC Paris 06, CNRS UMR 7371, INSERM U1146, ; 75013 Paris, France
                [5 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9924, GRID grid.32224.35, Department of Radiology, , Massachusetts General Hospital, ; Boston, MA USA
                [6 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0386 9924, GRID grid.32224.35, C.S. Kubik Laboratory for Neuropathology, , Massachusetts General Hospital, ; Boston, MA USA
                Article
                686
                10.1186/s40478-019-0686-6
                6410510
                30857558
                © The Author(s). 2019

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000002, National Institutes of Health;
                Award ID: U01NS086659
                Award ID: R01MH100350
                Award ID: AG005134
                Award ID: AG036694
                Award ID: AG005134
                Award ID: AG005134
                Award ID: AG061206
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2019

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