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CSF sTREM2 and Tau Work Together in Predicting Increased Temporal Lobe Atrophy in Older Adults.

Journal article
Authors Nathalie Bodd Halaas
Kristi Henjum
Kaj Blennow
Shams Dakhil
Ane-Victoria Idland
Lars Ng Nilsson
Donatas Sederevicius
Didac Vidal-Piñeiro
Kristine B Walhovd
Torgeir Brunn Wyller
Henrik Zetterberg
Leiv Otto Watne
Anders M Fjell
Published in Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
Volume 30
Issue 4
Pages 2295-2306
ISSN 1460-2199
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 2295-2306
Language en
Subject categories Neurochemistry


Neuroinflammation may be a key factor in brain atrophy in aging and age-related neurodegenerative disease. The objective of this study was to test the association between microglial expression of soluble Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells 2 (sTREM2), as a measure of neuroinflammation, and brain atrophy in cognitively unimpaired older adults. Brain magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sTREM2, total tau (t-tau), phosphorylated181 tau (p-tau), and Aβ42 were analyzed in 115 cognitively unimpaired older adults, classified according to the A/T/(N)-framework. MRIs were repeated after 2 (n = 95) and 4 (n = 62) years. High baseline sTREM2 was associated with accelerated cortical thinning in the temporal cortex of the left hemisphere, as well as bilateral hippocampal atrophy, independently of age, Aβ42, and tau. sTREM2-related atrophy only marginally increased with biomarker positivity across the AD continuum (A-T- #x2292; A+T- #x2292; A+T+) but was significantly stronger in participants with a high level of p-tau (T+). sTREM2-related cortical thinning correlated significantly with areas of high microglial-specific gene expression in the Allen Human Brain Atlas. In conclusion, increased CSF sTREM2 was associated with accelerated cortical and hippocampal atrophy in cognitively unimpaired older participants, particularly in individuals with tau pathology. This suggests a link between neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, and amyloid-independent tauopathy.

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