TDP-43 is consistently co-localized with ubiquitinated inclusions in sporadic and Guam amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but not in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with and without SOD1 mutations

Maekawa, S.; Leigh, P.N.; King, A.; Jones, E.; Steele, J.C.; Bodi, I.; Shaw, C.E.; Hortobagyi, T.; Al-Sarraj, S.

Neuropathology Official Journal of the Japanese Society of Neuropathology 29(6): 672-683


ISSN/ISBN: 1440-1789
PMID: 19496940
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1789.2009.01029.x
Accession: 056101220

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The transactive response (TAR) DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been recently implicated as a major component of ubiquitinated inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, motor neuron disease: MND) and ALS-related disorders. In this study, we examined abnormal TDP-43 pathology in 13 sporadic ALS (SALS), six familial ALS (FALS) with and without Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) mutations (SOD1-FALS and non-SOD1-FALS), Guam ALS, two frontotemporal lobar degeneration with MND/ALS (FTLD-MND/ALS), one FTLD with ubiquitin-only-immunoreactive inclusions (FTLD-U) and two progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Sections from the spinal cord were processed for immunohistochemistry using antibodies against TDP-43, ubiquitin, p62, cystatin C, phosphorylated tau protein (P-tau; AT8), alpha-synuclein and phosphorylated neurofilament protein (P-NF). In 12 out of 13 SALS and both Guam ALS cases ubiquitin and p62-immunoreactive (IR) neuronal inclusions co-localized with TDP-43. In three out of four SOD1-FALS and one of two non-SOD1-FALS cases, TDP-43-IR inclusions were absent despite the presence of p62 and/or ubiquitin-IR inclusions. However, a single TDP-43-IR neuronal inclusion co-localized with p62 and ubiquitin in one SOD1-FALS (His48Gln) case. Except for one neuron in a Guam case, all TDP-43-IR neuronal inclusions were negative for P-tau (AT8). TDP-43-IR glial inclusions and neurites were also demonstrated. The TDP-43 is a consistent component of the ubiquitinated inclusions in SALS and Guam ALS, but TDP-43-IR inclusions are absent or scarce in SOD1-FALS.