Miguel Aguileta, Postdoc at Van Andel Institute, presents on “Huntintin (HTT) aggregates trigger an immune response” and Thomas Karikari, Assistant professor at University of Gothenburg, discusses “Blood phosphorylated-tau as Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic markers”.

Miguel’s presentation features:
Our team found that huntingtin (HTT) aggregates induce an immune-like response in a cell model. The presence of HTT aggregate is a well-established hallmark of Huntington’s disease (HD). We developed a method to separate cells that originate from the same clonal cell-line but that form or not protein inclusions with a disease mutant form of HTT. Using this method, we performed label free proteomics, and discovered that cells with HTT-positive inclusions responded similarly to cells infected by viruses, based on the proteins that were expressed at higher levels. Notably, the cells with aggregates expressed specialized proteins that participate to the presentation of antigens at the cell surface.

Thomas’ presentation features:
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and positron emission tomography (PET) biomarkers of amyloid β and tau are accurate for detecting and staging Alzheimer's disease pathology. However, the invasiveness, high cost, and poor availability of these detection methods restrict their widespread use as clinical diagnostic tools. The accessibility and cost-effectiveness of blood-based biomarkers make them attractive for first-line clinical use and for facilitating clinical trial recruitment and monitoring. Since CSF tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (p-tau181) is a highly specific biomarker for Alzheimer's disease pathology, considerable effort has been placed on p-tau biomarkers in blood.
The talk will focus on blood biomarkers of p-tau, their diagnostic potential compared with CSF and PET biomarkers, as well as their utility as progression markers for monitoring the Alzheimer’s disease process.