Levels of the microtubule-associated protein tau in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF-tau) were measured in samples from 87 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 114 patients with non-AD neurological diseases, and 22 normal control subjects, by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The CSF-tau level was significantly higher in patients with AD than in patients with non-AD neurological diseases and in controls. High CSF-tau levels were found irrespective of age at onset, apolipoprotein E genotype, clinical stage, and ethnic group. Western blots of AD CSF proteins revealed two to three immunoreactive bands with apparent molecular mass between 50 and 65 kDa, which is consistent with phosphorylated CSF-tau. These results suggest that CSF-tau reflects progressive accumulation of tau due to the progressive death of neurons in the AD brain. Assay of CSF-tau may prove to be a reliable diagnostic test for AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology