Publications & Posters

P-tau235: a novel biomarker for staging preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

EMBO Molecular Medicine | November 2, 2021

Lantero-Rodriguez J, Snellman A, Benedet AL, Milà-Alomà M, Camporesi E, Montoliu-Gaya L, Ashton NJ, Vrillon A, Karikari TK, Gispert JD, Salvadó G, Shekari M, Toomey CE, Lashley TL, Zetterberg H, Suárez-Calvet M, Brinkmalm G, Rosa Neto P and Blennow K

EMBO molecular medicine. 2021:e15098

This study was performed using Simoa Homebrew assay(s).


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterised by a long preclinical phase. Although phosphorylated tau (p-tau) species such as p-tau217 and p-tau231 provide accurate detection of early pathological changes, other biomarkers capable of staging disease progression during preclinical AD are still needed. Combining exploratory and targeted mass spectrometry methods in neuropathologically confirmed brain tissue, we observed that p-tau235 is a prominent feature of AD pathology. In addition, p-tau235 seemed to be preceded by p-tau231, in what appeared to be a sequential phosphorylation event. To exploit its biomarker potential in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we developed and validated a new p-tau235 Simoa assay. Using three clinical cohorts, we demonstrated that (i) CSF p-235 increases early in AD continuum, and (ii) changes in CSF p-tau235 and p-tau231 levels during preclinical AD are consistent with the sequential phosphorylation evidence in AD brain. In conclusion, CSF p-tau235 appears to be not only a highly specific biomarker of AD but also a promising staging biomarker for the preclinical phase. Thus, it could prove useful tracking disease progression and help enriching clinical trial recruitment.