Background: Oxidative stress is considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). It has been observed that oxidative damage to specific protein targets affecting particular functional networks is one of the mechanisms by which oxidative stress contributes to neuronal failure and consequently loss of cognition and AD progression. Studies are lacking in which oxidative damage is measured at both systemic and central fluid levels and in the same cohort of patients. We aimed to determine the levels of both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) nonenzymatic protein damage in patients in the continuum of AD and to evaluate the relation of this damage with clinical progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to AD. Methods: Different markers of nonenzymatic post-translational protein modification, mostly from oxidative processes, were detected and quantified in plasma and CSF by isotope dilution gas chromatography‒mass spectrometry using selected ion monitoring (SIM-GC/MS) for 289 subjects: 103 AD, 92 MCI, and 94 control subjects. Characteristics of the study population such as age, sex, Mini-mental state examination, CSF AD biomarkers, and APOE ϵ4, were also considered. Results: Forty-seven (52.8%) MCI patients progressed to AD during follow-up (58 ± 12.5 months). After controlling for age, sex, and APOE ϵ4 allele, plasma and CSF concentrations of protein damage markers were not associated with either diagnosis of AD or MCI. The CSF levels of nonenzymatic protein damage markers were associated with none of the CSF AD biomarkers. In addition, neither in CSF nor in plasma were the levels of protein damage associated with the MCI to AD progression. Conclusion: The lack of association between both CSF and plasma concentrations of nonenzymatic protein damage markers and AD diagnosis and progression suggests that oxidative damage in AD is a pathogenic mechanism specifically expressed at the cell-tissue level, not in extracellular fluids.
Redox Biology, Volume 64, August 2023,