Clustering of tau-immunoreactive pathology in chronic traumatic encephalopathy


Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disorder which may result from repetitive brain injury. A variety of tau-immunoreactive pathologies are present, including neurofibrillary tangles (NFT), neuropil threads (NT), dot-like grains (DLG), astrocytic tangles (AT), and occasional neuritic plaques (NP). In tauopathies, cellular inclusions in the cortex are clustered within specific laminae, the clusters being regularly distributed parallel to the pia mater. To determine whether a similar spatial pattern is present in CTE, clustering of the tau-immunoreactive pathology was studied in the cortex, hippocampus, and dentate gyrus in 11 cases of CTE and 7 cases of Alzheimer’s disease neuropathologic change (ADNC) without CTE. In CTE: (1) all aspects of tau-immunoreactive pathology were clustered and the clusters were frequently regularly distributed parallel to the tissue boundary, (2) clustering was similar in two CTE cases with minimal co-pathology compared with cases with associated ADNC or TDP-43 proteinopathy, (3) in a proportion of cortical gyri, estimated cluster size was similar to that of cell columns of the cortico-cortical pathways, and (4) clusters of the tau-immunoreactive pathology were infrequently spatially correlated with blood vessels. The NFT and NP in ADNC without CTE were less frequently randomly or uniformly distributed and more frequently in defined clusters than in CTE. Hence, the spatial pattern of the tau-immunoreactive pathology observed in CTE is typical of the tauopathies but with some distinct differences compared to ADNC alone. The spread of pathogenic tau along anatomical pathways could be a factor in the pathogenesis of the disease.

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Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Optometry & Vision Science Research Group (OVSRG)
College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Optometry > Vision, Hearing and Language
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease neuropathologic change (ADNC),chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),neurofibrillary tangle,spatial correlation,spatial pattern,tauopathy,Neurology,Clinical Neurology,Psychiatry and Mental health,Biological Psychiatry
Publication ISSN: 1435-1463
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2024 08:11
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2016 14:55
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-02
Published Online Date: 2016-10-21
Accepted Date: 2016-10-17
Submitted Date: 2016-08-26
Authors: Armstrong, Richard A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5046-3199)
McKee, Ann C.
Alvarez, Victor E.
Cairns, Nigel J.



Version: Accepted Version

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