No interaction between tau and TDP-43 pathologies in either Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration or Motor Neurone Disease.

Andrew C Robinson, Jennifer C Thompson, Lindsey Weedon, Sara Rollinson, Stuart Pickering-Brown, Julie S Snowden, Yvonne S Davidson, David M A Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) is classified mainly into FTLD-tau and FTLD-TDP according to the protein present within inclusion bodies. While such a classification implies only a single type of protein should be present, recent studies have demonstrated dual tau and TDP-43 proteinopathy can occur, particularly in inherited FTLD. METHODS: We therefore investigated 33 patients with FTLD-tau (including 9 with MAPT mutation) for TDP-43 pathological changes, and 45 patients with FTLD-TDP (including 12 with hexanucleotide expansion in C9ORF72 and 12 with GRN mutation), and 23 patients with Motor Neurone Disease (3 with hexanucleotide expansion in C9ORF72), for tauopathy. RESULTS: TDP-43 pathological changes, of the kind seen in many elderly individuals with Alzheimer's disease, were seen in only 2 FTLD-tau cases - a 70 year-old male with exon 10 +13 mutation in MAPT, and a 73 year-old female with corticobasal degeneration. Such changes were considered to be secondary and probably reflective of advanced age. Conversely, there was generally only scant tau pathology, usually only within hippocampus and/or entorhinal cortex, in most patients with FTLD-TDP or MND. The extent of tau pathology in FTLD-TDP and MND, as with amyloid β protein, may relate to increased age and possession of Apolipoprotein ε4 allele. CONCLUSION: We find no predilection or predisposition towards an accompanying TDP-43 pathology in patients with FTLD-tau, irrespective of presence or absence of MAPT mutation, or that genetic changes associated with FTLD-TDP predispose towards excessive tauopathy. Where the two processes co-exist, this is limited and probably causatively independent of each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-854
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2014


  • C9ORF72
  • TDP-43
  • progranulin gene
  • tau
  • tau gene

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Dementia@Manchester


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