Background: With the promise of disease modifying treatments, there is a need for more specific diagnosis and prognosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Plasma biomarkers are likely to be utilised to increase diagnostic accuracy and specificity of AD and cognitive decline.Methods: Isobaric tags (iTRAQ) and proteomic methods were used to identify potential plasma biomarkers of MCI and AD. Relative protein expression level changes were quantified in plasma of 411 cognitively normal subjects, 19 AD patients and 261 MCI patients. Plasma was pooled into 4 groups including normal control, AD, amnestic single and multiple domain MCI (aMCI), and nonamnestic single and multiple domain MCI (nMCI). Western-blotting was used to validate iTRAQ data. Integrated function and protein interactions were explored using WEB based bioinformatics tools (DAVID v6.7 and STRING v9.0).Results: In at least two iTRAQ replicate experiments, 30 proteins were significantly dysregulated in MCI and AD plasma, relative to controls. These proteins included ApoA1, ApoB100, complement C3, C4b-binding protein, afamin, vitamin D-binding protein precursor, isoform 1 of Gelsolin actin regulator, Ig mμ chain C region (IGHM), histidine-rich glycoprotein and fibrinogen β and γ chains. Western-blotting confirmed that afamin was decreased and IGHM was increased in MCI and AD groups. Bioinformatics results indicated that these dysregulated proteins represented a diversity of biological processes, including acute inflammatory response, cholesterol transport and blood coagulation.Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that expression level changes in multiple proteins are observed in MCI and AD plasma. Some of these, such as afamin and IGHM, may be candidate biomarkers for AD and the predementia condition of MCI.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)
- Mild Cognitive Impairment