Prevalence of brain and spinal cord inclusions, including dipeptide repeat proteins, in patients with the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion: a systematic neuropathological review.

Neuropathology and applied neurobiology

PubMedID: 26373655

Schipper LJ, Raaphorst J, Aronica E, Baas F, de Haan R, de Visser M, Troost D. Prevalence of brain and spinal cord inclusions, including dipeptide repeat proteins, in patients with the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion: a systematic neuropathological review. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2016;.
AIM
The current literature shows no consensus on the localization and number of characteristic neuronal inclusions [p62 and dipeptide repeat proteins (DRPs) positive, TDP-43-negative and TDP-43 positive] in the brain and spinal cord of patients with the hexanucleotide repeat expansion on chromosome 9 (C9ORF72-positive patients). This may be due to small sample sizes. A valid brain map of the inclusions in C9ORF72-positive patients may improve clinicopathological correlations and may serve as a reference for neuropathologists.

METHODS
We performed a systematic review on 42 pathological studies to assess the pooled prevalence rates and density (a measure of the number of inclusions per brain region) of (phosphorylated)-TDP-43, p62 and DRP neuronal inclusions in seven brain regions and the spinal cord of 261 C9ORF72-positive patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and ALS-FTD.

RESULTS
In the cerebellum and hippocampus, the pooled prevalence rates of TDP-43 neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs; cerebellum: 3.9%; hippocampus: 68.3%) were lower than those of DRP (cerebellum: 97.2%; hippocampus 97.1%). Moreover, TDP-43 inclusion density was lower compared with p62 inclusion density in these regions. The pooled prevalence rate of TDP-43 NCI in the substantia nigra was high (94.4%).

DISCUSSION
The findings of this systematic review largely confirm findings of previous smaller studies on the localization and prevalence of inclusions in the central nervous system of C9ORF72-positive patients. The high prevalence of TDP-43 inclusions in the substantia nigra is a relatively new finding and is probably related to the relatively high prevalence of parkinsonism in C9ORF72-positive patients.