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Acta Neuropathologica
Journal Prestige (SJR): 7.589
Citation Impact (citeScore): 12
Number of Followers: 9  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1432-0533 - ISSN (Online) 0001-6322
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2658 journals]
  • Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy neuropathological
           change (LATE-NC) is independently associated with dementia and strongly
           associated with arteriolosclerosis in the oldest-old

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      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • PATZ1 fusions define a novel molecularly distinct neuroepithelial tumor
           entity with a broad histological spectrum

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      Abstract: Large-scale molecular profiling studies in recent years have shown that central nervous system (CNS) tumors display a much greater heterogeneity in terms of molecularly distinct entities, cellular origins and genetic drivers than anticipated from histological assessment. DNA methylation profiling has emerged as a useful tool for robust tumor classification, providing new insights into these heterogeneous molecular classes. This is particularly true for rare CNS tumors with a broad morphological spectrum, which are not possible to assign as separate entities based on histological similarity alone. Here, we describe a molecularly distinct subset of predominantly pediatric CNS neoplasms (n = 60) that harbor PATZ1 fusions. The original histological diagnoses of these tumors covered a wide spectrum of tumor types and malignancy grades. While the single most common diagnosis was glioblastoma (GBM), clinical data of the PATZ1-fused tumors showed a better prognosis than typical GBM, despite frequent relapses. RNA sequencing revealed recurrent MN1:PATZ1 or EWSR1:PATZ1 fusions related to (often extensive) copy number variations on chromosome 22, where PATZ1 and the two fusion partners are located. These fusions have individually been reported in a number of glial/glioneuronal tumors, as well as extracranial sarcomas. We show here that they are more common than previously acknowledged, and together define a biologically distinct CNS tumor type with high expression of neural development markers such as PAX2, GATA2 and IGF2. Drug screening performed on the MN1:PATZ1 fusion-bearing KS-1 brain tumor cell line revealed preliminary candidates for further study. In summary, PATZ1 fusions define a molecular class of histologically polyphenotypic neuroepithelial tumors, which show an intermediate prognosis under current treatment regimens.
      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • Apolipoprotein E regulates lipid metabolism and α-synuclein pathology in
           human iPSC-derived cerebral organoids

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      Abstract: APOE4 is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia with Lewy bodies; however, how its expression impacts pathogenic pathways in a human-relevant system is not clear. Here using human iPSC-derived cerebral organoid models, we find that APOE deletion increases α-synuclein (αSyn) accumulation accompanied with synaptic loss, reduction of GBA levels, lipid droplet accumulation and dysregulation of intracellular organelles. These phenotypes are partially rescued by exogenous apoE2 and apoE3, but not apoE4. Lipidomics analysis detects the increased fatty acid utilization and cholesterol ester accumulation in apoE-deficient cerebral organoids. Furthermore, APOE4 cerebral organoids have increased αSyn accumulation compared to those with APOE3. Carrying APOE4 also increases apoE association with Lewy bodies in postmortem brains from patients with Lewy body disease. Our findings reveal the predominant role of apoE in lipid metabolism and αSyn pathology in iPSC-derived cerebral organoids, providing mechanistic insights into how APOE4 drives the risk for synucleinopathies.
      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • Early white matter pathology in the fornix of the limbic system in
           Huntington disease

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      Abstract: Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. The typical motor symptoms have been associated with basal ganglia pathology. However, psychiatric and cognitive symptoms often precede the motor component and may be due to changes in the limbic system. Recent work has indicated pathology in the hypothalamus in HD but other parts of the limbic system have not been extensively studied. Emerging evidence suggests that changes in HD also include white matter pathology. Here we investigated if the main white matter tract of the limbic system, the fornix, is affected in HD. We demonstrate that the fornix is 34% smaller already in prodromal HD and 41% smaller in manifest HD compared to controls using volumetric analyses of MRI of the IMAGE-HD study. In post-mortem fornix tissue from HD cases, we confirm the smaller fornix volume in HD which is accompanied by signs of myelin breakdown and reduced levels of the transcription factor myelin regulating factor but detect no loss of oligodendrocytes. Further analyses using RNA-sequencing demonstrate downregulation of oligodendrocyte identity markers in the fornix of HD cases. Analysis of differentially expressed genes based on transcription-factor/target-gene interactions also revealed enrichment for binding sites of SUZ12 and EZH2, components of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2, as well as RE1 Regulation Transcription Factor. Taken together, our data show that there is early white matter pathology of the fornix in the limbic system in HD likely due to a combination of reduction in oligodendrocyte genes and myelin break down.
      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • Subgroup and subtype-specific outcomes in adult medulloblastoma

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      Abstract: Medulloblastoma, a common pediatric malignant central nervous system tumour, represent a small proportion of brain tumours in adults. Previously it has been shown that in adults, Sonic Hedgehog (SHH)-activated tumours predominate, with Wingless-type (WNT) and Group 4 being less common, but molecular risk stratification remains a challenge. We performed an integrated analysis consisting of genome-wide methylation profiling, copy number profiling, somatic nucleotide variants and correlation of clinical variables across a cohort of 191 adult medulloblastoma cases identified through the Medulloblastoma Advanced Genomics International Consortium. We identified 30 WNT, 112 SHH, 6 Group 3, and 41 Group 4 tumours. Patients with SHH tumours were significantly older at diagnosis compared to other subgroups (p < 0.0001). Five-year progression-free survival (PFS) for WNT, SHH, Group 3, and Group 4 tumours was 64.4 (48.0–86.5), 61.9% (51.6–74.2), 80.0% (95% CI 51.6–100.0), and 44.9% (95% CI 28.6–70.7), respectively (p = 0.06). None of the clinical variables (age, sex, metastatic status, extent of resection, chemotherapy, radiotherapy) were associated with subgroup-specific PFS. Survival among patients with SHH tumours was significantly worse for cases with chromosome 3p loss (HR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1–7.6; p = 0.02), chromosome 10q loss (HR 4.6, 95% CI 2.3–9.4; p < 0.0001), chromosome 17p loss (HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.1–4.8; p = 0.02), and PTCH1 mutations (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1–6.2; p = 0.04). The prognostic significance of 3p loss and 10q loss persisted in multivariable regression models. For Group 4 tumours, chromosome 8 loss was strongly associated with improved survival, which was validated in a non-overlapping cohort (combined cohort HR 0.2, 95% CI 0.1–0.7; p = 0.007). Unlike in pediatric medulloblastoma, whole chromosome 11 loss in Group 4 and chromosome 14q loss in SHH was not associated with improved survival, where MYCN, GLI2 and MYC amplification were rare. In sum, we report unique subgroup-specific cytogenetic features of adult medulloblastoma, which are distinct from those in younger patients, and correlate with survival disparities. Our findings suggest that clinical trials that incorporate new strategies tailored to high-risk adult medulloblastoma patients are urgently needed.
      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • Recurrent fusions in PLAGL1 define a distinct subset of pediatric-type
           supratentorial neuroepithelial tumors

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      Abstract: Ependymomas encompass a heterogeneous group of central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms that occur along the entire neuroaxis. In recent years, extensive (epi-)genomic profiling efforts have identified several molecular groups of ependymoma that are characterized by distinct molecular alterations and/or patterns. Based on unsupervised visualization of a large cohort of genome-wide DNA methylation data, we identified a highly distinct group of pediatric-type tumors (n = 40) forming a cluster separate from all established CNS tumor types, of which a high proportion were histopathologically diagnosed as ependymoma. RNA sequencing revealed recurrent fusions involving the pleomorphic adenoma gene-like 1 (PLAGL1) gene in 19 of 20 of the samples analyzed, with the most common fusion being EWSR1:PLAGL1 (n = 13). Five tumors showed a PLAGL1:FOXO1 fusion and one a PLAGL1:EP300 fusion. High transcript levels of PLAGL1 were noted in these tumors, with concurrent overexpression of the imprinted genes H19 and IGF2, which are regulated by PLAGL1. Histopathological review of cases with sufficient material (n = 16) demonstrated a broad morphological spectrum of tumors with predominant ependymoma-like features. Immunohistochemically, tumors were GFAP positive and OLIG2- and SOX10 negative. In 3/16 of the cases, a dot-like positivity for EMA was detected. All tumors in our series were located in the supratentorial compartment. Median age of the patients at the time of diagnosis was 6.2 years. Median progression-free survival was 35 months (for 11 patients with data available). In summary, our findings suggest the existence of a novel group of supratentorial neuroepithelial tumors that are characterized by recurrent PLAGL1 fusions and enriched for pediatric patients.
      PubDate: 2021-11-01
       
  • Tau seeding in chronic traumatic encephalopathy parallels disease severity

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      Abstract: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative tauopathy, is associated with behavioral, mood and cognitive impairment, including dementia. Tauopathies are neurodegenerative diseases whose neuropathological phenotypes are characterized by distinct histopathologic features of tau pathology, which progressively deposit throughout the brain. In certain tauopathies, especially Alzheimer’s disease (AD), tau deposition appears to follow brain network connections. Experimental evidence suggests that the progression of tau pathology in humans, mouse and cell models could be explained by tau seeds that adopt distinct conformations and serve as templates for their own amplification to mediate transcellular propagation of pathology. Tau seeds are efficiently detected by the induction of aggregation in cell-based “biosensors” that express tau repeat domain (RD) with a disease-associated mutation (P301S) fused to complementary fluorescent protein tags (cyan and yellow fluorescent protein). Biosensors enable quantification of tau seeding in fixed and fresh-frozen brain tissue. Phospho-tau deposition in CTE follows progressive stages (I–IV), but the relationship of seeding to this deposition is unclear. We have used an established biosensor assay to independently quantify tau seeding as compared to AT8 phospho-tau histopathology in thin sections of fixed tissues of 11 brain regions from 27 patients with CTE, 5 with other tauopathies, and 5 negative controls. In contrast to prior studies of AD, we detected tau seeding late in the course of CTE (predominantly stages III and IV). It was less anatomically prevalent than AT8-positive inclusions, which were relatively widespread. We especially observed seeding in the limbic system (amygdala, thalamus, basal ganglia), which may explain the dominant cognitive and behavior impairments that characterize CTE.
      PubDate: 2021-10-09
       
  • Analyzing microglial phenotypes across neuropathologies: a practical guide

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      Abstract: As extremely sensitive immune cells, microglia act as versatile watchdogs of the central nervous system (CNS) that tightly control tissue homeostasis. Therefore, microglial activation is an early and easily detectable hallmark of virtually all neuropsychiatric, neuro-oncological, neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases. The recent introduction of novel high-throughput technologies and several single-cell methodologies as well as advances in epigenetic analyses helped to identify new microglia expression profiles, enhancer-landscapes and local signaling cues that defined diverse previously unappreciated microglia states in the healthy and diseased CNS. Here, we give an overview on the recent developments in the field of microglia biology and provide a practical guide to analyze disease-associated microglia phenotypes in both the murine and human CNS, on several morphological and molecular levels. Finally, technical limitations, potential pitfalls and data misinterpretations are discussed as well.
      PubDate: 2021-10-08
       
  • Nuclear depletion of RNA-binding protein ELAVL3 (HuC) in sporadic and
           familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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      Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by loss of motor neurons and characterized neuropathologically in almost all cases by nuclear depletion and cytoplasmic aggregation of TDP-43, a nuclear RNA-binding protein (RBP). We identified ELAVL3 as one of the most downregulated genes in our transcriptome profiles of laser captured microdissection of motor neurons from sporadic ALS nervous systems and the most dysregulated of all RBPs. Neuropathological characterizations showed ELAVL3 nuclear depletion in a great percentage of remnant motor neurons, sometimes accompanied by cytoplasmic accumulations. These abnormalities were common in sporadic cases with and without intermediate expansions in ATXN2 and familial cases carrying mutations in C9orf72 and SOD1. Depletion of ELAVL3 occurred at both the RNA and protein levels and a short protein isoform was identified, but it is not related to a TDP-43-dependent cryptic exon in intron 3. Strikingly, ELAVL3 abnormalities were more frequent than TDP-43 abnormalities and occurred in motor neurons still with normal nuclear TDP-43 present, but all neurons with abnormal TDP-43 also had abnormal ELAVL3. In a neuron-like cell culture model using SH-SY5Y cells, ELAVL3 mislocalization occurred weeks before TDP-43 abnormalities were seen. We interrogated genetic databases, but did not identify association of ELAVL3 genetic structure with ALS. Taken together, these findings suggest that ELAVL3 is an important RBP in ALS pathogenesis acquired early and the neuropathological data suggest that it is involved by loss of function rather than cytoplasmic toxicity.
      PubDate: 2021-10-07
       
  • Frontal white matter lesions in Alzheimer’s disease are associated with
           both small vessel disease and AD-associated cortical pathology

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      Abstract: Cerebral white matter lesions (WML) encompass axonal loss and demyelination and are assumed to be associated with small vessel disease (SVD)-related ischaemia. However, our previous study in the parietal lobe white matter revealed that WML in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are linked with degenerative axonal loss secondary to the deposition of cortical AD pathology. Furthermore, neuroimaging data suggest that pathomechanisms for the development of WML differ between anterior and posterior lobes with AD-associated degenerative mechanism driving posterior white matter disruption, and both AD-associated degenerative and vascular mechanisms contributed to anterior matter disruption. In this pilot study, we used human post-mortem brain tissue to investigate the composition and aetiology of frontal WML from AD and non-demented controls to determine if frontal WML are SVD-associated and to reveal any regional differences in the pathogenesis of WML. Frontal WML tissue sections from 40 human post-mortem brains (AD, n = 19; controls, n = 21) were quantitatively assessed for demyelination, axonal loss, cortical hyperphosphorylated tau (HPτ) and amyloid-beta (Aβ) burden, and arteriolosclerosis as a measure of SVD. Biochemical assessment included Wallerian degeneration-associated protease calpain and the myelin-associated glycoprotein to proteolipid protein ratio as a measure of ante-mortem ischaemia. Arteriolosclerosis severity was found to be associated with and a significant predictor of frontal WML severity in both AD and non-demented controls. Interesting, frontal axonal loss was also associated with HPτ and calpain levels were associated with increasing Aβ burden in the AD group, suggestive of an additional degenerative influence. To conclude, this pilot data suggest that frontal WML in AD may result from both increased arteriolosclerosis and AD-associated degenerative changes. These preliminary findings in combination with previously published data tentatively indicate regional differences in the aetiology of WML in AD, which should be considered in the clinical diagnosis of dementia subtypes: posterior WML maybe associated with degenerative mechanisms secondary to AD pathology, while anterior WML could be associated with both SVD-associated and degenerative mechanisms.
      PubDate: 2021-10-04
       
  • Correction to: Single‑cell profiling of myasthenia gravis identifies a
           pathogenic T cell signature

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      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02359-3
       
  • Epigenetic and gene expression changes of neuronal cells from MSA patients
           are pronounced in enzymes for cell metabolism and calcium-regulated
           protein kinases

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      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02357-5
       
  • Comparing amyloid-β plaque burden with antemortem PiB PET in autosomal
           dominant and late-onset Alzheimer disease

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      Abstract: Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) radiotracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging can bind to different types of amyloid-β plaques and blood vessels (cerebral amyloid angiopathy). However, the relative contributions of different plaque subtypes (diffuse versus cored/compact) to in vivo PiB PET signal on a region-by-region basis are incompletely understood. Of particular interest is whether the same staging schemes for summarizing amyloid-β burden are appropriate for both late-onset and autosomal dominant forms of Alzheimer disease (LOAD and ADAD). Here, we compared antemortem PiB PET with follow-up postmortem estimation of amyloid-β burden using stereologic methods to estimate the relative area fraction of diffuse and cored/compact amyloid-β plaques across 16 brain regions in 15 individuals with ADAD and 14 individuals with LOAD. In ADAD, we found that PiB PET correlated with diffuse plaques in the frontal, parietal, temporal, and striatal regions commonly used to summarize amyloid-β burden in PiB PET, and correlated with both diffuse and cored/compact plaques in the occipital lobe and parahippocampal gyrus. In LOAD, we found that PiB PET correlated with both diffuse and cored/compact plaques in the anterior cingulate, frontal lobe (middle frontal gyrus), and parietal lobe, and showed additional correlations with diffuse plaque in the amygdala and occipital lobe, and with cored/compact plaque in the temporal lobe. Thus, commonly used PiB PET summary regions predominantly reflect diffuse plaque burden in ADAD and a mixture of diffuse and cored/compact plaque burden in LOAD. In direct comparisons of ADAD and LOAD, postmortem stereology identified much greater mean amyloid-β plaque burdens in ADAD versus LOAD across almost all brain regions studied. However, standard PiB PET did not recapitulate these stereologic findings, likely due to non-trivial amyloid-β plaque burdens in ADAD within the cerebellum and brainstem—commonly used reference regions in PiB PET. Our findings suggest that PiB PET summary regions correlate with amyloid-β plaque burden in both ADAD and LOAD; however, they might not be reliable in direct comparisons of regional amyloid-β plaque burden between the two forms of AD.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02342-y
       
  • HnRNP K mislocalisation is a novel protein pathology of frontotemporal
           lobar degeneration and ageing and leads to cryptic splicing

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      Abstract: Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (HnRNPs) are a group of ubiquitously expressed RNA-binding proteins implicated in the regulation of all aspects of nucleic acid metabolism. HnRNP K is a member of this highly versatile hnRNP family. Pathological redistribution of hnRNP K to the cytoplasm has been linked to the pathogenesis of several malignancies but, until now, has been underexplored in the context of neurodegenerative disease. Here we show hnRNP K mislocalisation in pyramidal neurons of the frontal cortex to be a novel neuropathological feature that is associated with both frontotemporal lobar degeneration and ageing. HnRNP K mislocalisation is mutually exclusive to TDP-43 and tau pathological inclusions in neurons and was not observed to colocalise with mitochondrial, autophagosomal or stress granule markers. De-repression of cryptic exons in RNA targets following TDP-43 nuclear depletion is an emerging mechanism of potential neurotoxicity in frontotemporal lobar degeneration and the mechanistically overlapping disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We silenced hnRNP K in neuronal cells to identify the transcriptomic consequences of hnRNP K nuclear depletion. Intriguingly, by performing RNA-seq analysis we find that depletion of hnRNP K induces 101 novel cryptic exon events. We validated cryptic exon inclusion in an SH-SY5Y hnRNP K knockdown and in FTLD brain exhibiting hnRNP K nuclear depletion. We, therefore, present evidence for hnRNP K mislocalisation to be associated with FTLD and for this to induce widespread changes in splicing.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02340-0
       
  • Complement-associated loss of CA2 inhibitory synapses in the demyelinated
           hippocampus impairs memory

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      Abstract: The complement system is implicated in synapse loss in the MS hippocampus, but the functional consequences of synapse loss remain poorly understood. Here, in post-mortem MS hippocampi with demyelination we find that deposits of the complement component C1q are enriched in the CA2 subfield, are linked to loss of inhibitory synapses and are significantly higher in MS patients with cognitive impairments compared to those with preserved cognitive functions. Using the cuprizone mouse model of demyelination, we corroborated that C1q deposits are highest within the demyelinated dorsal hippocampal CA2 pyramidal layer and co-localized with inhibitory synapses engulfed by microglia/macrophages. In agreement with the loss of inhibitory perisomatic synapses, we found that Schaffer collateral feedforward inhibition but not excitation was impaired in CA2 pyramidal neurons and accompanied by intrinsic changes and a reduced spike output. Finally, consistent with excitability deficits, we show that cuprizone-treated mice exhibit impaired encoding of social memories. Together, our findings identify CA2 as a critical circuit in demyelinated intrahippocampal lesions and memory dysfunctions in MS.
      PubDate: 2021-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02338-8
       
  • Correction to: Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy
           neuropathological change (LATE-NC) is independently associated with
           dementia and strongly associated with arteriolosclerosis in the oldest-old
           

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      PubDate: 2021-09-13
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02368-2
       
  • A network of core and subtype-specific gene expression programs in
           myositis

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      Abstract: Myositis comprises a heterogeneous group of skeletal muscle disorders which converge on chronic muscle inflammation and weakness. Our understanding of myositis pathogenesis is limited, and many myositis patients lack effective therapies. Using muscle biopsy transcriptome profiles from 119 myositis patients (spanning major clinical and serological disease subtypes) and 20 normal controls, we generated a co-expression network of 8101 dynamically regulated transcripts. This network organized the myositis transcriptome into a map of gene expression modules representing interrelated biological processes and disease signatures. Universally myositis-upregulated network modules included muscle regeneration, specific cytokine signatures, the acute phase response, and neutrophil degranulation. Universally myositis-suppressed pathways included a specific subset of myofilaments, the mitochondrial envelope, and nuclear isoforms of the anti-apoptotic humanin protein. Myositis subtype-specific modules included type 1 interferon signaling and titin (dermatomyositis), RNA processing (antisynthetase syndrome), and vasculogenesis (inclusion body myositis). Importantly, therapies exist to target influential proteins in many myositis-dysregulated modules, and nearly all modules contained understudied proteins and non-coding RNAs – many of which were extraordinarily dysregulated in myositis and may represent novel therapeutic targets. Finally, we apply our network to patient classification, finding that a deep learning algorithm trained on patient-level network “images” successfully assigned patients to clinical groups and further into molecular subclusters. Altogether, we provide a global resource to probe and contextualize differential gene expression in myositis.
      PubDate: 2021-09-09
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02365-5
       
  • Molecular profiling of pediatric meningiomas shows tumor characteristics
           distinct from adult meningiomas

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      Abstract: In contrast to adults, meningiomas are uncommon tumors in childhood and adolescence. Whether adult and pediatric meningiomas differ on a molecular level is unclear. Here we report detailed genomic analyses of 37 pediatric meningiomas by sequencing and DNA methylation profiling. Histologically, the series was dominated by meningioma subtypes with aggressive behavior, with 70% of patients suffering from WHO grade II or III meningiomas. The most frequent cytogenetic aberrations were loss of chromosomes 22 (23/37 [62%]), 1 (9/37 [24%]), 18 (7/37 [19%]), and 14 (5/37 [14%]). Tumors with NF2 alterations exhibited overall increased chromosomal instability. Unsupervised clustering of DNA methylation profiles revealed separation into three groups: designated group 1 composed of clear cell and papillary meningiomas, whereas group 2A comprised predominantly atypical meningiomas and group 2B enriched for rare high-grade subtypes (rhabdoid, chordoid). Meningiomas from NF2 patients clustered exclusively within groups 1 and 2A. When compared with a dataset of 105 adult meningiomas, the pediatric meningiomas largely grouped separately. Targeted panel DNA sequencing of 34 tumors revealed frequent NF2 alterations, while other typical alterations found in adult non-NF2 tumors were absent. These data demonstrate that pediatric meningiomas are characterized by molecular features distinct from adult tumors.
      PubDate: 2021-09-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02351-x
       
  • Complement component 3 from astrocytes mediates retinal ganglion cell loss
           during neuroinflammation

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      Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by varying degrees of secondary neurodegeneration. Retinal ganglion cells (RGC) are lost in MS in association with optic neuritis but the mechanisms of neuronal injury remain unclear. Complement component C3 has been implicated in retinal and cerebral synaptic pathology that may precede neurodegeneration. Herein, we examined post-mortem MS retinas, and then used a mouse model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), to examine the role of C3 in the pathogenesis of RGC loss associated with optic neuritis. First, we show extensive C3 expression in astrocytes (C3+/GFAP+ cells) and significant RGC loss (RBPMS+ cells) in post-mortem retinas from people with MS compared to retinas from non-MS individuals. A patient with progressive MS with a remote history of optic neuritis showed marked reactive astrogliosis with C3 expression in the inner retina extending into deeper layers in the affected eye more than the unaffected eye. To study whether C3 mediates retinal degeneration, we utilized global C3–/– EAE mice and found that they had less RGC loss and partially preserved neurites in the retina compared with C3+/+ EAE mice. C3–/– EAE mice had fewer axonal swellings in the optic nerve, reflecting reduced axonal injury, but had no changes in demyelination or T cell infiltration into the CNS. Using a C3-tdTomato reporter mouse line, we show definitive evidence of C3 expression in astrocytes in the retina and optic nerves of EAE mice. Conditional deletion of C3 in astrocytes showed RGC protection replicating the effects seen in the global knockouts. These data implicate astrocyte C3 expression as a critical mediator of retinal neuronal pathology in EAE and MS, and are consistent with recent studies showing C3 gene variants are associated with faster rates of retinal neurodegeneration in human disease.
      PubDate: 2021-09-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02366-4
       
  • A recurrent homozygous ACTN2 variant associated with core myopathy

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      PubDate: 2021-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s00401-021-02363-7
       
 
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