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Journal Article


Rubenstein R, Chang B, Grinkina N, Drummond E, Davies P, Ruditzky M, Sharma D, Wang K, Wisniewski T. Acta Neuropathol. Commun. 2017; 5(1): e30.


Center for Cognitive Neurology and Departments of Neurology, Pathology and Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, Alexandria ERSP, 450 East 29th Street, New York, 10016, NY, USA.


(Copyright © 2017, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group - BMC)








Studies in vivo and in vitro have suggested that the mechanism underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathogenesis is initiated by an interaction between the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and amyloid-β oligomers (Aβo). This PrP(C)-Aβo complex activates Fyn kinase which, in turn, hyperphosphorylates tau (P-Tau) resulting in synaptic dysfunction, neuronal loss and cognitive deficits. AD transgenic mice lacking PrP(C) accumulate Aβ, but show normal survival and no loss of spatial learning and memory suggesting that PrP(C) functions downstream of Aβo production but upstream of intracellular toxicity within neurons. Since AD and traumatic brain injury (TBI)-linked chronic traumatic encephalopathy are tauopathies, we examined whether similar mechanistic pathways are responsible for both AD and TBI pathophysiologies. Using transgenic mice expressing different levels of PrP(C), our studies investigated the influence and necessity of PrP(C) on biomarker (total-tau [T-Tau], P-Tau, GFAP) levels in brain and blood as measured biochemically following severe TBI in the form of severe closed head injury (sCHI). We found that following sCHI, increasing levels of T-Tau and P-Tau in the brain were associated with the PrP(C) expression levels. A similar relationship between PrP(C) expression and P-Tau levels following sCHI were found in blood in the absence of significant T-Tau changes. This effect was not seen with GFAP which increased within 24 h following sCHI and progressively decreased by the 7 day time point regardless of the PrP(C) expression levels. Changes in the levels of all biomarkers were independent of gender. We further enhanced and expanded the quantitation of brain biomarkers with correlative studies using immunohisochemistry. We also demonstrate that a TBI-induced calpain hyperactivation is not required for the generation of P-Tau. A relationship was demonstrated between the presence/absence of PrP(C), the levels of P-Tau and cognitive dysfunction. Our studies suggest that PrP(C) is important in mediating TBI related pathology.

Language: en


Cellular prion protein; Cognition; GFAP; Immunohistochemistry; Tau phosphorylation; Total Tau; Traumatic brain injury


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