Asymmetric TDP-43 distribution in primary progressive aphasia with progranulin mutation

G. Gliebus*, E. H. Bigio, K. Gasho, M. Mishra, D. Caplan, M. M. Mesulam, C. Geula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) results from an asymmetric degeneration of the language dominant (usually left) hemisphere and can be associated with the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) or frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). This study aimed to investigate whether the anatomic distribution of TDP-43 inclusions displayed a corresponding leftward asymmetry in a patient with PPA with a mutation in the progranulin gene and FTLD pathology. Methods: Brain tissue from a 65-year-old patient with PPA and progranulin mutation was analyzed using immunohistochemical methods for TDP-43. Analysis was performed in the superior temporal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, orbitofrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, and dentate gyrus. Neuronal intranuclear inclusions, neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions, and dystrophic neurites were quantified using modified stereologic analysis. Analysis of variance was used to determine significant effects. Results: All 3 types of inclusions predominated on the left side of analyzed cortical regions. They were also more frequent in language areas than in memory-related areas. Conclusion: These results demonstrate a phenotypically concordant distribution of abnormal TDP-43 inclusions in primary progressive aphasia (PPA). This contrasts with PPA cases with Alzheimer pathology where no consistent leftward asymmetry of neurofibrillary degeneration or amyloid deposition has been demonstrated despite the leftward asymmetry of the atrophy, and where neurofibrillary tangles show a greater density in memory than language areas despite the predominantly aphasic phenotype. This case suggests that the TDP-43 inclusions in PPA-frontotemporal lobar degeneration are more tightly linked to neuronal death and dysfunction than neurofibrillary and amyloid deposits in PPA-Alzheimer disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1607-1610
Number of pages4
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 18 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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