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npj Aging, 1(9), 2023

DOI: 10.1038/s41514-023-00114-4



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Elevated plasma sclerostin is associated with high brain amyloid-β load in cognitively normal older adults

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This paper was not found in any repository; the policy of its publisher is unknown or unclear.

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AbstractOsteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mainly affect older individuals, and the possibility of an underlying link contributing to their shared epidemiological features has rarely been investigated. In the current study, we investigated the association between levels of plasma sclerostin (SOST), a protein primarily produced by bone, and brain amyloid-beta (Aβ) load, a pathological hallmark of AD. The study enrolled participants meeting a set of screening inclusion and exclusion criteria and were stratified into Aβ− (n = 65) and Aβ+ (n = 35) according to their brain Aβ load assessed using Aβ-PET (positron emission tomography) imaging. Plasma SOST levels, apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) genotype and several putative AD blood-biomarkers including Aβ40, Aβ42, Aβ42/Aβ40, neurofilament light (NFL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), total tau (t-tau) and phosphorylated tau (p-tau181 and p-tau231) were detected and compared. It was found that plasma SOST levels were significantly higher in the Aβ+ group (71.49 ± 25.00 pmol/L) compared with the Aβ− group (56.51 ± 22.14 pmol/L) (P < 0.01). Moreover, Spearman’s correlation analysis showed that plasma SOST concentrations were positively correlated with brain Aβ load (ρ = 0.321, P = 0.001). Importantly, plasma SOST combined with Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio significantly increased the area under the curve (AUC) when compared with using Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio alone (AUC = 0.768 vs 0.669, P = 0.027). In conclusion, plasma SOST levels are elevated in cognitively unimpaired older adults at high risk of AD and SOST could complement existing plasma biomarkers to assist in the detection of preclinical AD.