Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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Cerebrospinal fluid sTREM2 levels are associated with gray matter volume increases and reduced diffusivity in early Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimers Dement. 2016 Jul 13. pii: S1552-5260(16)30026-7.

Authors/Editors: Juan Domingo Gispert
Marc Suárez-Calvet
Gemma C. Monte
Alan Tucholka
Carles Falcon
Santiago Rojas
Lorena Rami
Raquel Sanchez-Valle
Albert Lladó
Gernot Kleinberger
Christian Haass
José Luis Molinuevo
Publication Date: 2016
Type of Publication: Journal Article


TREM2 is involved in the regulation of inflammatory response and phagocytosis. A soluble fragment (sTREM2) is often found abnormally increased in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Alzheimer's disease (AD).


Of the total, 114 participants (45 control, 19 preclinical, 27 mild cognitive impairment [MCI], and 23 AD) underwent CSF sTREM2 determination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We studied the association between CSF sTREM2, gray matter volume, and water motion diffusivity and anisotropy across groups.


In MCI patients, a positive correlation between CSF sTREM2 and gray matter volume was found in the bilateral inferior and middle temporal cortices, precuneus, the supramarginal, and angular gyri, after controlling by age, sex, and p-tau. A negative correlation with mean diffusivity was detected in overlapping regions, among others.


In early AD, augmented CSF sTREM2 levels correspond with cerebral MRI features typical of brain swelling, supporting a role for TREM2 in the regulation of the neuroinflammatory response to early neurodegeneration.

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