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Senile plaque-associated transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 in Alzheimer's disease: A case report spanning 16 years of memory loss.

Transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) pathological inclusions are found in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD-TDP) and Alzheimer's disease (AD-TDP). While clinically different, TDP-43 inclusions in FTLD-TDP and AD can have similar morphological characteristics. However, TDP-43 colocalizing with tau and forming "apple-bite" or "flame-shaped" neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) are only found in AD-TDP. Here, we describe a case with AD and neuritic plaque-associated TDP-43. The patient was a 96-year-old right-handed Caucasian woman who had developed a slowly progressive amnestic syndrome compatible with typical AD at age 80. Genetic testing revealed APOE ε3/ε4, GRN r5848 CT, and MAPT H1/H2 genotype. Consistent with the old age at onset and long disease duration, limbic-predominant AD was found at autopsy, with high hippocampal yet low cortical neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) counts. Hippocampal and amygdala sclerosis were present. Immunohistochemistry for phospho-TDP-43 showed NCIs, dystrophic neurites, and rare neuronal intranuclear inclusions consistent with FTLD-TDP type A, as well as tau NFT-associated TDP-43 inclusions. These were frequent in the amygdala, entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, occipitotemporal gyrus, and inferior temporal gyrus but sparse in the mid-frontal cortex. Additionally, there were TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions forming plaque-like structures in the molecular layer of the dentate fascia of the hippocampus. The presence of neuritic plaques in the same region was confirmed using thioflavin-S fluorescent microscopy and immunohistochemistry for phospho-tau. Double labeling immunofluorescence showed colocalization of TDP-43 and tau within neuritic plaques. Other pathologies included mild Lewy body pathology predominantly affecting the amygdala and olfactory bulb, aging-related tau astrogliopathy, and mixed small vessel disease (arteriolosclerosis and amyloid angiopathy) with several cortical microinfarcts. In conclusion, we have identified TDP-43 colocalizing with tau in neuritic plaques in AD, which expands the association of TDP-43 and tau in AD beyond NFTs. The clinical correlate of this plaque-associated TDP-43 appears to be a slowly progressive amnestic syndrome.

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