Genetic factors play a major role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology, but biological mechanisms through which these factors contribute to AD remain elusive. Using a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteomic approach, we examined associations between polygenic risk scores for AD (PGRS) and CSF proteomic profiles in 250 individuals with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and AD-type dementia from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Out of 412 proteins, 201 were associated with PGRS. Hierarchical clustering analysis on proteins associated with PGRS at different single-nucleotide polymorphism p-value inclusion thresholds identified 3 clusters: (1) a protein cluster correlated with highly significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms, associated with amyloid-beta pathology and complement cascades; (2) a protein cluster associated with PGRS additionally including variants contributing to modest risk, involved in neural injury; (3) a protein cluster that also included less strongly associated variants, enriched with cytokine-cytokine interactions and cell adhesion molecules. These findings suggest that CSF protein levels reflect varying degrees of genetic liability for AD and may serve as a tool to investigate biological mechanisms in AD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2020

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