Cerebrospinal fluid ceruloplasmin levels predict cognitive decline and brain atrophy in people with underlying β-amyloid pathology

Elsevier, Neurobiology of Disease, Volume 139, June 2020
Diouf I., Bush A.I., Ayton S.
Objectives: The mechanisms leading to neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) may involve oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is a circulating protein that intersects both these pathways, since its expression is increased during the acute phase response, and the protein acts to lower pro-oxidant iron in cells. Since the role of Cp in AD, and its potential for use as a biomarker is not established, we investigated CSF Cp and its association with longitudinal outcome measures related to AD. Methods: This was an observational study of 268 people from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging (ADNI) cohort. Subjects were classified clinically as having AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or were cognitively normal (CN), and were also classified as being positive for β-amyloid using established thresholds in the CSF t-tau/Aβ42 ratio. Subjects underwent cognitive tests and MRI studies every 6 months for 2 years, then yearly thereafter for up to 6 years. Results: At baseline, CSF Cp was not associated with clinical or pathological diagnosis, but we found an unexpected association between CSF Cp and levels of CSF apolipoprotein E. In longitudinal analysis, high level of CSF Cp was associated with accelerated cognitive decline (as assessed by ADAS-Cog, CDR-SB, and MMSE) and ventricular volume enlargement in people classified as MCI and who had underlying β-amyloid pathology. Conclusion: These results raise new questions into the role of Cp in neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and APOE pathways involved in AD, and reveal the potential for this protein to be used as a biomarker in disease prognostication.