Fluid Biomarkers For Synaptic Dysfunction And Loss.
Camporesi E, Nilsson J, Brinkmalm A, Becker B, Ashton NJ, Blennow K and Zetterberg H.
Biomarker Insights. 2020;15:1177271920950319
Synapses are the site for brain communication where information is transmitted between neurons and stored for memory formation. Synaptic degeneration is a global and early pathogenic event in neurodegenerative disorders with reduced levels of pre- and postsynaptic proteins being recognized as a core feature of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathophysiology. Together with AD, other neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders show altered synaptic homeostasis as an important pathogenic event, and due to that, they are commonly referred to as synaptopathies. The exact mechanisms of synapse dysfunction in the different diseases are not well understood and their study would help understanding the pathogenic role of synaptic degeneration, as well as differences and commonalities among them and highlight candidate synaptic biomarkers for specific disorders. The assessment of synaptic proteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which can reflect synaptic dysfunction in patients with cognitive disorders, is a keen area of interest. Substantial research efforts are now directed toward the investigation of CSF synaptic pathology to improve the diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders at an early stage as well as to monitor clinical progression. In this review, we will first summarize the pathological events that lead to synapse loss and then discuss the available data on established (eg, neurogranin, SNAP-25, synaptotagmin-1, GAP-43, and α-syn) and emerging (eg, synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A and neuronal pentraxins) CSF biomarkers for synapse dysfunction, while highlighting possible utilities, disease specificity, and technical challenges for their detection.